Updates from May, 2008

  • Interviews

    May 16th, 2008

    This was written May 16, 2008 but I am publishing here today, November 25th, 2008, for archival purposes even though it is desperately late.

    At first, I planned to have four contextual inquiries. Turns out though that since I am just starting, just having preliminary interviews might work better. Anyway, I had only reserved an hour per interviewee.

    Putting it all together was kind of scary, I haven’t done actual interviews before. luckily I had a “training interview” with Saila Ovaska, who also told me a lot about what to take into accoung (note taking facilities, audio recording).

    I am pretty much satisfied with the 4 interviews I had yesterday. They were not formal and the perceptions were quite general and probably incomplete, but nevertheless each of them gave me precious insight about the lifetime of a quiz and/or what electronic exams are about for different teachers. I recorded each of the one-hour sessions and it seems now that I will need to listen them through to at least keep my thinking process going.

    next, I will proceed with gathering all my current perceptions into another prototype just to keep things concrete. But the perceptions also need to be documented as such. For this I am using a document template, will need to make sure the one I have doesnt have a retricting licence. Why does this has to be a template, why can we not have all the info built as an app that would also work out all of the references?

  • Open source usability

    May 14th, 2008

    Someone working with KDE has a great open source usability blog, one of the things found was this bit about use cases and scenarios. Incidentally, this is just what I am currently working on.

    Also there: The #1 Problem in OSS Usability and What I’m Going to Do About It, which Antti Kaijanmäki, another Kesäkoder, told me about some weeks ago. Though it is sad, seeing that other open source projects suffer similar problems helps keep me from going nuts :). Slowly I am becoming convinced about the critical need we have for clearly documented knowledge about our users.

    Still, I guess the greatest challenge is to actually get the community thinking about users also from some other point of view than “I am the user so you should be listening to me about feature X”.

  • Getting started

    March 31st, 2008

    Got WordPress installed in order to get Kesäkoodi started. Though actual work will only start in June, I will prepare by catching up on HCI literature and by thinking about how to make the entire process as transparent as possible. This is in order to learn with and hopefully to help the Moodle community get more ideas of what usability and working on user interfaces is about, in practice, in everyday software design.

    Also the original application for Kesäkoodi is available for now, until I move its contents to Moodle Docs and other appropriate places. This site now contains the gist of it so I removed the original site; see the links under “Pages”, on the right-hand sidebar ->.

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