Assignment 3 – SCORE – Mario Alvarez, Dillon Reisman, Abbi Ward

Names: Mario Alvarez, Dillon Reisman, Abbi Ward

NetIDs: mmcgil, dreisman, aaward

Interface: SCORE

Links to Individual Posts:

Question 1 Most severe problems:

  • You don’t know where to find information and finding it is not natural
    • Division between “Enroll” and “Academics” headings doesn’t make very much sense
    • Quintile rank is under “term information” subheading
    • GPA and Quintile rank are NOT under grades information
    • H2
      • The SCORE navigation organization doesn’t match what people would think it should be.
  • Fixes
    • Information should be consolidated. It is unnecessarily spread out in arbitrary categories and these divisions are not necessary.
      • For example, quintile rank and GPA could be combined with all other grade information.
    • Information should not be unnecessarily redundant
      • For example, the information under “General Education Requirements” and “Academic Requirements” is partially the same. General Education Requirements is not necessary.
  • SCORE is ugly
    • It uses only a small portion of the screen.
      • H8
    • It doesn’t allow customization nor does it automatically give easy access to information people usually want
      • H8
    • There are no icons, so users have to rely on recall and this is also non-standard because most programs and sites use icons.
      • H6
    • Menus are used inconsistently. They’re normally used to select something but here they’re used as a link
      • H4
  • Fixes
    • Redesign the interface (There is no easy fix here!)
    • Use icons
      • For example, a picture of a B+ could symbolize grades
    • Stop using weird combinations of drop-down menus that are also links
    • Use menus and links consistently (H4)

Question 2

SCORE’s help and documentation information does in fact exist! However, it is very difficult to find, is all textual, and contains no screenshots. We would not have found this if we didn’t have these heuristics (H10) guiding us. We also found an error in viewing Academic records. (To replicate the error, go to View My Academic Record, generate a report, click the back button in the browser, and then go view it again. SCORE takes you to a page that says “This Page is Not Available”). If we hadn’t been exploring the various paths in SCORE’s interface and considering H5, we might not have considered this an unnecessary error.

Question 3

We were mostly able to categorize usability problems under one of these heuristics. The redundant information problem on SCORE doesn’t really fall under a category easily, and generally these heuristics may miss some aspects of organizing content. Our additional heuristic might be “minimalist content”. Additionally, we feel that it should be easy to have a mental model of the how the interface works. This might be a sub-heuristic of H2; content should be displayed and organized in a natural way and in a way that aligns with how people organize information in their heads.

Question 4

  • Can we create general rules for creating hierarchies of content?
    • How deeply nested can an informational website be before it becomes cumbersome? Why?
  • Exam question: Give an example interface and have students evaluate it according to a smaller set of heuristics
  • Break down a given heuristic into sub-heuristics.
  • Prioritize the heuristics based on the severity of problems typically associated with them
    • For instance, H2 may be more important than H10 in many cases