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Reports (Research Report) Year : 2014

Formative usability report on the early prototype of the Go-Lab portal


The key objective of WP3 is to identify, update and integrate, on an ongoing basis, requirements for developing the Go-Lab Portal. Methodologically, WP3 adopts a participatory design (PD) approach grounded in the established User-centred Design (UCD) frameworks, which also underpin Usability and User Experience (UX) methodologies. In Year 2 (Phase A), WP3 is responsible to collect data on usability and user experience of the Go-Lab design artefacts, ranging from individual scaffolds to an entire online lab to inform the refinement of the pedagogical specifications (WP1) for such artefacts and the improvement on their design and development (WP4, WP5). Specifically, we provide teachers and students with access to prototypes of parts of or the whole system in increasing levels of fidelity, some iteratively in different levels of refinement, in order to elicit their feedback in usefulness, enjoyability, learnability, memorability, effectiveness, and other pragmatic as well as hedonic qualities. Several complementary HCI approaches have been adopted and adapted for PD data collection and analysis, including: 1) Face-to-face PD workshops with a range of engaging activities that encourage participants to provide feedback on the artefacts under scrutiny. Different instruments were deployed, including traditional paper-and-pen and its software-supported counterpart PDot for capturing feedback, surveys, audience response system, interviews, and observations; 2) Online Core Group Teachers (CGT) involving 17 participants from eight countries in Europe, who are highly motivated in following the development of Go-Lab and are willing to provide prompt feedback to specific questions posed to them on a regular basis; 3) Heuristic Evaluation applied to evaluate some scaffolds and ILs by usability researchers without involving end-users; the results have directly been fed to the development team for improving the prototype before testing it with users. From November 2013 to October 2014, 21 face-to-face PD events of various scales involving endusers have been conducted in nine countries whereas 6 PD activities have been conducted online with the Core Group Teachers. Altogether these PD activities involved 158 teachers and 221 students from 9 countries. The PD events took place at schools, research/training centres, and other venues such as the Go-Lab Summer School. The data are predominantly subjective selfreports of teachers and students on their experiences and opinions after using specific Go-Lab artefacts for specified tasks. Overall, the participating teachers and students have highly been persuaded of the potential benefits of Go-Lab. However, they have found some of the components in their current form and some aspects of the integration of the components not intuitive to use. Encouraging is that they have provided improvement suggestions as well as ideas for new features; data thereof have been analysed, assimilated and communicated to the pedagogical and development teams. The wide variety of PD events with end-users have provided a steady flow of information back to the project leadership and thereby influenced system development direction and priorities. Apart from a set of specific recommendations derived from the PD results, a genera redesign proposal is the use of a style guide, focusing on visual design, content, interaction design, data handling, and online help, to ensure consistent look and feel and thus positive user experience.


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hal-01201936 , version 1 (18-09-2015)


  • HAL Id : hal-01201936 , version 1


Effie Law. Formative usability report on the early prototype of the Go-Lab portal. [Research Report] Go-Lab Project. 2014. ⟨hal-01201936⟩
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