onsdag 18 mars 2015

Kenneth Runnman Think Aloud

When you gather data you have to first consider the five key issues. So before I was doing the session I had to set goal for what I wanted to accomplish with the session. My goal with the session was to get answers to the questions.
The Questions:
  • How can we make the app more user friendly? I want to see if there is any misunderstanding that can be solved with icons and if it is easy for the user navigate through the app.
  • Find out if the user is missing any functions in the app that could be useful?

Identifying the participant: I did a think aloud protocol session with my cousins wife. She has only been in the country and the city for about three months and she has a kid so I thought that she would be a great subject considering that she fit both of our target groups: parents to children and tourists.

Relationship with the participant: I began with explaining what we were going to do and how I was going to use the information that was gathered during the session. She is from the Philippines and her english is limited so I asked her husband to be present so that he could translate when she couldn’t communicate properly in english. Then I explained how our prototype works and the purpose it has.

The five key issues also includes triangulation and pilot studies. The meaning of triangulation is that the investigation should be viewed from more than one perspective, and I think that we do that as a group because everyone is doing their own think aloud session. I am a little bit uncertain about the pilot study because we are doing only one think aloud session per person in the group. But we did one collective think aloud session before we did an individual session.

So I continued with the statement “Imagine that you are looking for a museum in Stockholm and you are using this app to find a suitable museum”. I took notes with the use of pen and paper because I think that the subject was more comfortable with that rather than a audio or video recording. As the session started I kept quiet and took notes, only to open my mouth when she was quiet for a longer moment. When that happened I asked her what she was thinking about.

The conclusions from the session were that the icons was hard to understand because there were many similar icons that could be the same thing on the first page. The icons was better on the second page but that there can be improvements to those icons too. It wasn’t very clear what “estimated time”  means, if it is estimated time in the museum or travel time to the museum. She also didn’t like the background that the app had, she didn’t think that it was neat. On the third page she thought that it would be great if you could see a star rating and feedback from other users to make it easier for her to decide. She thought that the fourth page could use a little more information about the museum and its exhibition as it can be a temporary exhibitions that would be interesting.
Kenneth Runnman

måndag 16 mars 2015

Think aloud

Yesterday i met with Kalle, a friend of mine to do a think aloud test of our application. Kalle is 22 years old and lives in Stockholm. However, he's only lived in Stockholm for about 6 months, originally being from the northern parts of Sweden. Because of this i figured he could maybe fit in to one of our target groups, tourists.

I started off by explaining what the application is all about, that you can find different types of museums based off interests & also find routes inside the museums, with the main focus to simplify the searching and also have all the information you need to plan a museum visit in one place.
I then told him to try out the prototype and also keep an open dialogue with me explaining his thoughts throughout the usage.

He started off being a little bit confused as to what the different icons meant, and tried looking for information on the different icons but couldnt find any. He then proceeded to click one of the icons and got taken to the next page (the convenience page). Here he told me that he kind of understood what we were trying to do and didnt seem confused at all. He said that liked that we had an estimated time function (but that it could use some more information and some better graphics), seeing as in this city, you really have to spare on time.

He then proceeded to the page with the suggested museums and said that this was the page that he liked the best and the one he understood the best.

All in all he gave me mostly positive feedback, he liked the idea alot and said that he thought it could be very useful, especially for someone who isn't familiar with Stockholm or is new in town.

I think that this think aloud and the feedback it gave did good and will help us (it was also very fun to do and interesting!), but at the same time it feels like we already knew these problems and that we already had plans to fix them. It was also useful just observing someones workflow with the application. I think that this way of gathering data from observations could be as important as actively asking questions and 'giving instructions' just because you get to see the user in their normal state, just how they would have used the application on their own.

söndag 15 mars 2015

Think aloud with a friend

Today I met a friend of mine, Maja, whom i asked to try our simple iPhone version of our idea. She's a woman in her late twenties and a mother of two small children.

The first thing I told her is that this is an application used for quickly finding a desired route for a suggested museum. I told her that the purpose of this application is to make it easier to choose museums and that it reduces the amount of problems on the side such as, apart from finding a desired museum, checking for transport routes and other conveniences.

I sat beside her, asking her to focus solely on the application alone, and to speak her mind whilst navigating it.

1. The first thing she mentioned was that that she didn't quite understand all the icons. She suggested that we combine some icons into more general ones. For example; why was there an icon of a coffee cup as well as an apple?

Furthermore, she suggested that there should be some kind of 'help' box providing information for how to use the application. She asked if these museums were restricted to one specific city (Stockholm in this case), and whether the user may change it to other cities.

2. After choosing a desired icon she proceeded to the page with convenciences. She approved of the idea that one has the opportunity to choose conveniences such as ATM machines or wheel chair support. However, she didn't quite understand the "Estimated time" slider; since it had no display text, it was hard to determine in what scale the slider was measured in.

3. Ending up in the page with the suggested museums, she told us that it would be nice to see where the museums were located, with some more displayed text beneath each suggested museum's title.

She did like the concept and considered it relevant to our work, and that an application like this might help people like herself, with children, to make it easier to visit museums.

onsdag 11 mars 2015

Think-aloud Eric Hallström

Think aloud with international student in my house
The yellow marks is reference to the literature. 

The data gathering from observation and interviews should have a clear goal through when we did our interviews we might not had a really clear goal in mind but after gathering the data we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to do with the material we had. The main point in our interviews was that the visitors didn't find stuff inside the museum, even though that the stuff where inside the museum. I feel like we adapted our interviews good and that we didn't went to the museum with one strict focus point in mind so we were able to adapt good during the circumstances. This is confirmed by the literature that it’s important to have a fine balance between goals and being open minded so small modifications. When we were at the museum we had in mind that we wanted to find out
-        What kind of person visit this museum?
-        What are they doing?
-        How are they doing it?

From this main focus point we adapted our design to be most fit for younger parents and tourists. First from our personas and from observation at Tekniska muset we found out that younger parents visiting a museum didn't had much time to experience the exhibition itself and was constantly looking out for their children. Another observation we did at Nordiska muset was the tourists and how they adapted to the exhibition. Even though the museum wasn't crowded and there were only a few visitors at the time we were there, they consisted of tourists.

To get different perspective from the observations at the museums we visited was our real strength that we worked in a group. Even if our group consist of only male around 20 years old we still have different ideas, experience and lives. Though we have not pointed this out that different members of the group should observe different areas we went on to just doing a total observation at the museum and then combining our experience when we sat down and talked about what we should do.  
This is why I contacted a international student in my house. This think aloud fit in a direct observation in controlled environments.

First of all it was good that we lived in the same house so she didn't had to travel or feel that she wasted her time. The second good thing was that the environment was quiet and we could solely focus on the main thing, the observation.  
I presented our design and didn't really tell her much about why we did it and who should use it. I told her more about this after the testing was done. I did this because I didn't wanted to influence her with my ideas and my thoughts.

The degree of participation I had in the observation was to a minimum. I choose to call myself a passive observer, even though I was there to answer any questions and ask question, I wanted the interaction to be as real as possible and I told her to think out loud on what she was doing and why she was clicking on different stuff.
I gathered my information with paper and pencil to minimize the distraction from computers and recordings.  

The application started with the main screen with a few icons, it’s was confusing at first what the icons meat, the first thing she said “what are these?”. I did not answer that question because that would have spoiled the whole idea with the application. Instead she clicked on the icons and was directed to the second page, and it was first here she said “ahhha!” and understood what the different icons did. She went back to the main page and started to interpret the different icons. And clicked on one and came to the second screen where she should fill in here special requests. It was the same problem here with that are sometimes not that clear. But this page was easier to understand not when she were used to the icon system. 
She went on the said “I really like this idea, it would be great for my international friends to visit different museum because it’s hard to find out where to go in Stockholm.” The rest of the observation was straight forward and after she got used to the icons she could easy understand what to do and what it was for.

So the main problems here is the icons, one way to solve this is to either find really clear symbols or add some informative text to every icon.

We wanted to design to be as minimum as possible this is why this think aloud went so fast. This is a good thing because we wanted to product to be as smooth and self-explaining as possible and from this observation I can say we reached that goal. 

måndag 9 mars 2015

Think-aloud with my parents

For this think-aloud I sat down with my parents, one at a time and observered how they interacted with our design prototype. All the testing was done on a live iPhone running the prototype.

The main goal of this test is to see if the workflow of the application is working as we intended from the start. If that turns out to work then we have a foundation to build the other designs upon. There is huge win if the workflows on the different platforms are the same.

I made the following introduction to both of the testers.

"The product you are about to use is a museum visit planner. It takes what you like and need from a museum and calculates a personal route for you.

The only thing you need to remember during this is to say everything you think, even if it is gibberish. All feedback is written down and condensed. Here you go!"


Mom started out looking for help boxes and stuff in order to figure out how to use the application. She seemed a bit afraid to test around and was scared that she might ruin something. But after a few clicks she figured our how the main procedure worked. Below are the problems that arised.

Question marks/Problems

  • No helpful text
  • Needed to poke around
  • No animations made for confusion during transistions
  • Some colors caused some confusion
  • Button unclear if text or a button


  • Tester seemed to understand the workflow after a couple of minutes.
  • Low quality textures, icons, pictures, weird colors, all distractions.
  • Understood where it was going in terms of value towards the user, might not have found it.


Dad was a bit more aggressive in the way he handle the application. He started clicking around and exploring. This caused a tad bit confusion as he drifted between the two main views and had a hard time understanding that this was all of the application. After that epiphany he started on the main procedure. Below are the problems that arised.

Question marks/Problems

  • Unclear directions
  • No direction text
  • Lack of options
  • Minor stutters
  • No animations
  • Weird color combinations
  • Hard to interpret icons


  • Tester seemed to understand the workflow after a couple of minutes.
  • Low quality textures, icons, pictures, weird colors, all distractions.
  • Did not see the point of the application
  • Hard time seeing the workflow as a process

Update on prototypes #3

Yesterday, 2015-03-09, the group finished the second iteration of the highfidelity prototype for the companion application. The remaining prototype; the website and printout, still needs their second iteration.

These pictures are user interface screenshots from Xcode showing real UI files which will run on the iOS platform. The idea is that other platforms shall replicate this design to the pixel.

We have established the main pipeline in which the user experience shall travel through. In order to include as many target groups as possible we wanted to keep the number of views and UI elements down to a minium without causing confusion. Therefore we went with one workflow/procedure and two main views.

First we have a main screen which is the general search view. This aims to eliminate which type of museum the user wants to visit. It can vary from art to ecologi.

This view shall be one of two consistent views. The other one is where your personal route is displayed. When not displaying a personal route that view shall redirect to this one, thus gently pushing the user towards making a new route. These two shall always be within one click.

 The second view which shall be presented after the first main view is the options view. This is where the small details in the visit is nailed down. These factor may include things like; children friendly, open today, has WiFi, has a cafe, has warderobes, price, opening hours/days, distance from the user, time to travel to museum, et cetera.
This view is where the generated routes are displayed to the user after all the requirements are inputed. As it is right now the back buttons do not show but are included in our design so that the user can at anytime during the procedure go back and redo some of the inputs. They are also able to cancel the creation at anytime.

This is a rough mockup how a typical personal route might be displayed. The idea behind the map is to have a sort of slide up motion to bring the map into fullscreen. On the map itself the route is displayed with an option to hide/show it as an overlay. This is the second main view which shall always be present.

söndag 1 mars 2015

Update on prototypes #2

Before exercise #4 we made some high-fidelity prototypes for the companion app for the design Route Planner.

Below is the first screen which will be the first thing you encounter. The purpose of this screen is to sort the routes presented in a general fashion. There is no reason to show a natural science museum to someone who is looking for a history museum.

There is a very simple and crude representation of how a detail view of the personal route could look like. The main things are here; the basic information, personal map of the route and some pictures. 

Feedback from Exercise #4

During the fourth exercise we presented our designs and progress so far. The feedback inspired a couple of ideas for our design "Route Planner", which is by the way still a placeholder name. This post is about some ideas and concepts.


One of the important aspect of the Route Planner is to provide the user of the service a better and faster experience than what they could have manually searching for all the information brought together by the service. This goal is pretty easy to achieve but to maintain high quality content on such a service the need for user-generated feedback, such as comments, are a nice feature for both the user who expresses herself and the receiver.

Target Groups

After the presentation one in the audience said that tourists are a nice fit into our target group. This statement is completely true and to be honest our group hadn't thought about all the tourist because we simply did not see any during our field studies. This also brings up a flaw in our field studies, we missed the high season for museums. The people going to museums spike in the summer as the rush of tourists flood the city. This made us miss a whole target group. But to our defence the Route Planner is by design made to fit every one who wants to go to a museum. This will hopefully be achieved by good interface design in the outlets (website + companion app + printout).

Like Trivago for museums            

Thinking ahead we sat down and thought about ways to monetise this service. I narrowed it down to pretty much three and a half options. 

  1. Trivago
This option is to model the entire business as the trivago model. In order to fill the service with information and data (pictures, et cetera) we could make it in such a way that the museums pay us to be featured on our service. The prerequisite is that the museum itself provides us with high-quality assets and such for the routes. Basic information will also be included in this bundle. This information could include; opening hours, prices, nearest subway station, and such. 

The approach has a couple of nice things going for it. For starters it is simple to understand and liberates us from the job to generate content for our service. We will just process their information and thus bring value to the end user. 

There is one main problem with this approach, that being the sale of our service to the museum itself. Why should they want to pay us anything when we do not have anything to show for it. 

   2. Curated

This approach is simple and dirty. We will bring in the information from the museum by visiting them. After this we will need to bring ads onto the service, which represents the 'dirty' part.

Below is the raw notes I took during the exercise.

            * TARGET GROUP: TOURISTS? (+ INCLUDE "This might interest you")
               ( - AD-SUPPORTED ? On mobile, web and perhaps printout? )
               ( - SELL USER INFORMATION )
            * ALTERNATIVA RUTTER: 1) Speed/Crucial 2) All-of-it