[IAEP] 2015 SocialHelp Survey?

Dave Crossland dave at lab6.com
Sun Apr 24 21:26:05 EDT 2016

On 24 April 2016 at 17:59, Sam Parkinson <sam.parkinson3 at gmail.com> wrote:

> You might be interested in this blog post that I wrote on the subject:
> https://www.sam.today/blog/sugar-onboard-user-testing.html

AWESOME! :D Here's the full text, I think everyone should read it :D

*Sugar Onboard: After user testing*

By Sam P., 25 April 2016

Software is only as good as it is discoverable. When you put Sugar in front
of a new user, some will take to it and others will not. However, some of
the parts of Sugar are not discoverable, for example, invoking the frame.

[A selection of the screenshots displayed]

To try to fix this, I designed and coded up Sugar Onboard

It was implemented in the "onboard" branches of my sugar,
sugar-toolkit-gtk3 and sugar-artwork git repos.

I then sat down with people and watched as they used it. I tasked by test
subjects to open and move between 2 activities running at the same time -
something which happens via the frame. I also observed the way that they
interacted with the software. I worked with 5 testers (
all of whom where school age (Aust years 7-10) and how were very familiar
with traditional computers.

It didn't help.

Not only did my thing not help people find the frame (or anything else),
the added popups actually annoyed them. They didn't want to read the text
and they didn't find it helpful. Even with pictures, some instructions
where confusing for them. Really, it wasted their time.

So what would I do in the future? I would force them to read and interact
with the frame. My design was too big, it added to much. Too much of the
content was irrelevant, so people very quickly learnt to ignore it. I
needed to choose 1 thing, and be forceful and evil to teach them it. That
should have been forcefully teaching them to activate the frame, and
activate palettes.

I also had some big takeaways about the palette system. The tooltip part of
the palette system is great. Users find it very intuitive how fast the
tooltips activate. They also seem to intrinsically know that there should
be more there; they move their mouse over tooltips waiting for the
secondary popdown. However this is the issue that they had with the
palettes, the secondary popdown is too slow. In the time between the
primary and secondary popdown, the users had mostly become confused and
moved away. Maybe we could unify these popdowns and just always show the
full palette?

Usability testing was the most fun thing to do. I need to make more friends
so that I can do more of it. I learnt so much. You should give it a go too!

> the secondary popdown is too slow ... Maybe we could unify these popdowns
and just always show the full palette?

I agree 100% with this. As I understand it, making such a change has a 3
step process: writing a "design doc" to propose such a change, then
consensus that the design is an improvement (although who must make up the
consensus, I'm not sure), and then a pull request.

Is that right?
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