The ESCAPE app for Bilkent University

This report was part of the ESCAPE project user and task analysis work package which aimed to provide qualitative information about the prospective uses of an application for the University's Career Centre. To initiate the design process we conducted a series of interviews. The valuable feedback that we gathered helps us understand the students’ expectations and determine the scope of our project. Then we continued to evaluate current applications and elicit more detailed thoughts about the high-level description of the system.

We focused on a set of processes for examining user tasks, including Hierarchical Task Analysis, and evaluation methods, such as personas. We began with a brief study of the system’s potential users and their contexts of use. We then used Hierarchical Task Analysis to examine the task contexts, aiming at refining performance criteria. As more information was gathered by the task analysis, we continued with constructing a domain analysis diagram to understand the relationships between the domains and processes involved.

Finally, after conducting the usability evaluation and studying the user tasks and subtasks, we concluded our task analysis by specifying the usability goals.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Based on user and task observations, overall comments and usability goals review, we then created a complete proposal on a series of sketches for every task. An example follows:

Evaluating results

The usability evaluation involved an informal test with a low fidelity prototype and four different task scenarios, for which a participant was asked to perform a simple task. This test served an important role in detecting and addressing usability issues in the user interface. The comments and suggestions provided by the users, indicated areas of the application that need improvement, such as the overall look and the appropriate feedback given. The System Usability Scale was used to provide a global measure of usability and learnability. Items providee information about learnability and a variety of usability aspects, such as the need for support and training. Overall, the final result for the system was 88,5/100 in the SU scale.