UsabilityCluster/MonthlyMeeting/2017-04-05 MeetingNotes

From Federation of Earth Science Information Partners

Attendees: Karen Hanson, Rachel Volentine, Reid Boehm, Madison Langseth


1. Review ESIP Summer Meeting Submissions

  • Usability Examples as Research as Art
Sophie’s Abstract: Have you ever come across a website or an information system that makes you feel lost, frustrated, confused, or simply defeated? If systems and their interfaces are not evaluated for usability, these are the feelings that they may inflict upon users.
Alternatively, systems and their interfaces can help their users feel accomplished and successful if they are user-friendly!
If you are interested in user interface and user experience principles, or UI/UX, and how they could help data archives and repositories, this art piece aims to inspire conversations regarding usability evaluation experiences and ways that usability principles/techniques could be applied to help data archives and repositories to be more useful for our users.
  • Others?
  • Bruce: Will paper prototyping be part of the framework?
  • Are we okay with this happening on Tuesday? Summer meeting has grown, workshop day on Tuesday, Plenary on Wednesday. Madison will Sophie on this. Draft agenda will go and we can decide then.


2. Introduce collaboration with RMap team

  • Working on session to introduce RMap
  • RMap started as 2 year grant to build prototype to capture connections and components that go into a research project: data sets, software, paper. Citation lists can be constrained and research projects may continually add products. Capture in a linked data map, developing API, and user interface to visualize and navigate the map. Moving to production over the next year. Integrating with OSF and adding widgets to OSF. Want to get feedback on interactive widgets before moving to production.


3. Work on the Usability Test Framework

  • Confirm scope
  • Earth-science and data repositories/services?
  • Select a section and start filling out content (proposed: Introduction)
  • Imply that feedback is valuable: Your feedback will help us improve this product.
  • Who is the audience? How well do you know the audience.
  • RMap - Will users know who is involved with the product. For example, they might not know “RMap” but they might know Sloan Foundation.
  • Email Recruiting: If you have lots of writing, people won’t respond. Keep it brief. Once interested tell them more. Short introduction to the product, but not everything that they will want to know once they are in the testing.
  • So and so mentioned your name (something that they are familiar with, this isn’t spam). “Madison recommended you for this” “I know you are interested in ESIP”. Doing a study of this product to better understand how to organize information within the product. (Not explaining what a usability study is). During the study you will be asked to complete a number of tasks using the product and provide feedback about your experience.
  • Second paragraph: logistics. This will only take 15 minutes of your time. It will be these dates and this location.
  • If you are interested reply to this email or respond to this person and they will get you more information.

Dear [person’s name],

[First sentence should be something that allows the person to recognize the organization, or a particular person that is familiar to them to catch their interest and let them know that this isn’t spam.] We are conducting a study of [product] to better understand [how to organize information, how users interact with the system, etc. Why are you conducting the usability study - very broad statement]. [Provide and explanation of the product, if necessary (1-2 sentences that tells the person what the product is)]. Your feedback will help us to improve this product.

During the study you will be asked to complete a number of tasks using [the product] and provide feedback about your experience. The study will take approximately [time frame (see section further down about appropriate test times)] and will run from [date range]. The study will take place [virtually OR (insert location)]. To thank you for your time, we have [insert the incentive (e.g. $5 gift card) (This is optional)].

If you are interested in participating, please [indicate how they can reply] and we/I will provide you with more information.


Tips for writing your introduction

  • Keep the introductory email short
  • Name recognition can help to draw users in


Terms and Conditions (Keep this section as bullet points so that people can choose depending on what makes sense for the product and the usability study)

  • Want them to be as natural as possible. Don’t read them a script here, just have a conversation. If you read them a script, they will feel more like they are being studied. Keep things as natural and comfortable as possible.
  • Repeat what we’re testing and more information about the product, if necessary.
  • Stress that there are no right or wrong answers. We are testing the system not the user. The user can’t do anything wrong.
  • Go with your first reaction and don’t think through things too much. Have some sort of time limit to keep moving things along. Tell them “you will have [time] to complete each task and at the end of that time, I will ask you to move on” “You are welcome to end each task at anytime.” “Go with your first reaction and don’t think through things too much”
  • You can stop the usability test at any time.
  • If you are recording, to let them know and make sure they are okay with it.
  • Tell them how/where the responses will be used. (e.g. if you will be using responses in a publication, giving them to developers, etc.)
  • If they are on the web, bookmark the homepage, so if they do get lost they can get back to where they started. Let them know how to get back to the homepage.


Introduce the Clearinghouse as the default example use case

  • This makes sense - helps to have tangible examples.