DevAssistant Heuristic Review Part 2: Inventory of Issues

This is Part 2 of a 3-part blog series; this post builds on materials featured in an earlier post called DevAssistant Heuristic Review Part 1: Use Case Walkthroughs. In this part of the DevAssistant heuristic review, we’ll walk through an itemized list of the issues uncovered by the use case-based walkthrough we did in part 1. Since this is essentially just a list of issues, let me preface it by explaining how I came up with this list. Basically, I combed through the walkthrough and noted any issues that were encountered and mentioned in it, large and small. The result of this was a flat list of issues. Next, I went through the list and tried to determine a set of categories to organize them under by grouping together issues that seemed related. (You could do this in a group setting via a technique called “affinity mapping” – another fancy UX term that in essence just basically means writing everything out on post-its and sticking related post-it notes together. Fancy name for playing with sticky pieces of paper 🙂 ) Breaking the issues into categories serves a few purposes: It makes the list easier to read through and understand, since …

DevAssistant Heuristic Review Part 1: Use Case Walkthroughs

You might be asking yourself, “What the heck is a heuristic review?” It’s just a fancy term; I learned it from reading Jakob Nielsen‘s writings. It’s a simple process of walking through a user interface (or product, or whatever,) and comparing how it works to a set of general principles of good design, AKA ‘heuristics.’ To be honest, the way I do these generally is to walk through the interface and document the experience, giving particular attention to things that jump out to me as ‘not quite right’ (comparing them to the heuristics in my head. 🙂 ) This is maybe more accurately termed an ‘expert evaluation,’ then, but I find that term kind of pompous (I don’t think UX folks are any better than the folks whose software they test,) so ‘heuristic review’ it shall be! Anyway, Sheldon from the DevAssistant team was interested in what UX issues might pop out to me as I kicked the tires on it. So here’s what we’re going to do: Here in Part 1, I’ll first map out all the various pieces of the UI so we can get a feel for everything that is available. Then, I’ll walk through four use …

Contributing to free & open source software as a designer

Next Sunday there’s going to be a FLOSS HCI Workshop at CHI 2010 in Atlanta, GA. CHI is the annual conference on human-computer interaction’ [1] for ACM’s SIG CHI (Special Interest Group in Computer-Human Interaction.) Michael Terry from the University of Waterloo and Paula Bach from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have organized this workshop for both folks in the academic HCI community and HCI folks from the open source community. It’s going to be an opportunity for folks from either or both groups to get together and to share knowledge and propose directions for research both to help inform HCI tools and to further the user experience in free/libre and open source software. My submission for the workshop was a 12-page case study [2] from my own experiences of being a designer in the Fedora community, on the Fedora Design Team. I wanted to post this before the workshop to get your feedback on it so I can bring it up during the workshop when I attend it next week! Let me know if there’s anything in there that’s wrong, anything that might have been forgotten, or honestly any other points at all you would like to see …

Contributing to free & open source software as a designer

Next Sunday there’s going to be a FLOSS HCI Workshop at CHI 2010 in Atlanta, GA. CHI is the annual conference on human-computer interaction’ [1] for ACM’s SIG CHI (Special Interest Group in Computer-Human Interaction.) Michael Terry from the University of Waterloo and Paula Bach from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have organized this workshop for both folks in the academic HCI community and HCI folks from the open source community. It’s going to be an opportunity for folks from either or both groups to get together and to share knowledge and propose directions for research both to help inform HCI tools and to further the user experience in free/libre and open source software. My submission for the workshop was a 12-page case study [2] from my own experiences of being a designer in the Fedora community, on the Fedora Design Team. I wanted to post this before the workshop to get your feedback on it so I can bring it up during the workshop when I attend it next week! Let me know if there’s anything in there that’s wrong, anything that might have been forgotten, or honestly any other points at all you would like to see …