Good Work and Good Riddins (only kidding)

So it was fun this semester and I was just wanting to thank everyone for a job well done. Even though I know we don’t have our grade back yet, I’m sure we did a good job. Plus I wanted to blog one more time because it’s the greatest thing ever!!1 Anyway, if anyone is as big a loser as me and actually gets on this pretty soon, have a good break and good luck with everything in the future!

Design Critique

At my job we use a web-based interface called “Room Scheduler”.  This system keeps track of every event we have in every room of the building as well as events happening on campus.  At the conclusion of every event we input data about the show like weather conditions, number of patrons in attendance, and any problems we had with the event and save it.  Upon saving it, the system automatically emails the report to administrators throughout the Auditorium so everyone can be aware of the situation.  The purpose of this system is to make information available to return to at a later date, should the event ever return to our facility. 

 

The design, sucks.  It only lists the events by the month you are currently in and does not allow you to seach any event in the past.  If you want to view a previous event, you must know the exact date.  You also cannot search the various criteria you input.  For example, if you wanted to pull all events that had at least 2,000 people in attendance, there is currently no way to accomplish this.

This system is so powerful, but so lame at the same time. 

roomschedler

Concept Map for iPhone

I chose to do complete my concept map on the iPhone – more specifically on the Photo application. 

 

Metaphors/Analogies:

·         Finger gestures.  Gesturing forward with your finger progresses to the next picture while gesturing backward returns to the previous picture.  Pinching in or out will zoom in or out of the photo, respectively. 

·         Tilting the phone: Turning the phone from landscape to portrait changes the orientation of the photo as well, as though you were actually turning the photo.

 

Concepts:

·         Using the accelerometer to change pictures.

 

Relationships between concepts:

                Using the iPhones built-in accelerometer, one could simply motion the phone to the right or to the left to advance or return to a photo.  This gesture with the physical phone would be combination with or in place of the finger gestures as mentioned previously. 

 

The Mappings:

The simply gestures within the iPhone are designed to allow users to intuitively change  features or presentations with one’s finger.  By swiping it forward, the photo advances.  With respect, a simple flip of the wrist forward could also perform the same action.  Apple already uses motion control to interact with many other features of this device, so the implementation would not be difficult. 

The device could provide feedback to the user as well, notifying them what picture they are currently viewing and how many photos are left in their respective directions.  A new gesture of a circle on the screen could also bring up the photo index, allowing the user to select any of the photos within their library instead of turning the phone to the portrait orientation and pressing the back button.

 

iphone-pinch

Emotional evaluation of CoD4

I observed my roomie playing the game Call of Duty 4 and observed how he seemed to react emotionally to what was happening to him as far as the game experience is concerned.

What I’ve noticed the most in him, as well as in myself when I play games, is that he seems to want to move with the character portraying him on the screen.  He would actually try to lead forward to run faster and attempt to dodge bullets from the couch etc.  I find this to be humorous, but non-the-less it shows that the game provokes these natural instinctual movments in players.  In addition to that he would frequently talk back to the characters on screen.  He knew that they couldn’t hear him and that it would have no effect, but it is something that people tend to do when they get caught up in the action.  Even the events taking place in the game would prompt him to act in a certain way such as taking out a vendetta for a fallen teammate even though that teammate is completely fictional and only a computer program.

Paper Prototype Question

My biggest concern is with user navigation. iTunes and Pandora are set up very differently and their users are accustomed to their individuals set ups. It’s likely that this new hybrid software will create confusion. I’m curious if people will mix creating iTunes playlists and Pandora radio stations within iTunes. There are a number of different places a user can currently create iTunes playlists (select file>create playlist or click on the tabbed bar on the left hand side of the screen, etc.) so similarly I think there might be a number of places a user might go to for creating a Pandora radio station. Our prototype will only have one button to create a radio station. It’s hard to say if the results will be accurate because the iPandora button will be taped onto a printout of iTunes, so even if the test subjects choose the button accurately I think it might be because we kind of gave it away. Hopefully the test subjects will give useful feedback on how to create a better user experience and increase usability. It’ll be interesting to see what types of results are produced. If there is a hang up with the button most software when initially installed has pop up bubbles appear that make navigation easy, so I think that could take care of a lot of issues.

Pandora PRI

Predisposition

Pandora has a wide range of functionality and here are a few predispositions that users have that  I agree with. Users just start up some music and then go on to do something else, not Pandora Related. Users rarely use any social or sharing fuctions of Pandora. Users enjoy finding new bands/music they like.

Research

Through direct observation a lot of information was gathered on how users interact with Pandora. When new users have a lot of different tastes and like a lot of different bands it can be an arduous task to create enough radio stations tha reflects that type of individual without investing a lot of time and effort. During some of the observations a user would generate only a station or two and then “sit back, relax and enjoy the music” for the entire session and then just sit there kinda bored especially if the user didn’t agree with the music suggested by Pandora.

Insight

The user experience of Pandora is fairly lacking. Pandora needs to engage its users more aggressively and allow for more/better social construction of the Pandora environment.

Concept

I think it would be really neat to expand upon profiles and sharing by allowing users to create their own communities with people they are friends with.  A community would make it easy to create radio stations and save personal time.  When I started creating my own stations I forgot to put in a lot of bands that I liked and when multiple people are contributing that is far less likely to occur. I know Pandora suggests new music, but that is all by chance becuase the songs are shuffled. If other people are to manually incorporate other bands you haven’t heard of before then you are far far far more likely to hear music from new bands suggested by people the likely know you on a personal level as opposed to music genome song analyzers. I also think when a community is created with personal friends users would more likely create blogs within their communities and share notes about music they encountered.

Paper Prototype question

One main question that I have about our groups paper prototype is the idea of it being integrated into the itunes program, or any other media player in the first place.  My question is could our idea and concept be better implemented directly into the web site instead of in a media player?  I raise this question because the idea of pandora is that it is a radio station and allowing users to create there ipandora playlist and having it saved on your pandora account will be limited to just your machine if you are using itunes for ipandora.  If you take our idea and implement it into a web application, then it can be accessed from anywhere and at any time.  Our paper prototype will not really help too much with this question, but it will deliver some evidence of how well our concept will work.  Because pandora and our ipandora system is fairly simple to use, I foresee the user to be able to pick it up with ease.

One protocal we are using is an almost fail safe prototype, if the user veers off course during the test, there are a lot of fail safe screens that we have just in case.  This will allow the user to stay on track.  Overall if the user can make a play list already with itunes, they really should be able to use the ipandora system within itunes.