• Internal Code :
  • Subject Code :
  • University :
  • Subject Name : Management

Introduction to Timetable Visualiser Website

This report provides the results of the usability testing conducted for the Timetable Visualiser website. Six participants were invited to perform the testing, which was divided into five steps. In Step 1, the participants completed the informed consent form to confirm that they agreed with the terms and conditions of the testing, including the methods (i.e. video and google forms) and purposes of data collection. In Step 2, they completed the demographic questionnaire to provide their demographic characteristics. In Step 3, they performed a series of tasks by interacting with the website and rated the difficulty level of each task. In Step 4, they completed the SUS questionnaire to rate their experience with the website. Lastly, in Step 5, they completed the post-study questionnaire to provide their feedback and suggestions for improvements. The data collected from the testing was organized and analyzed thoroughly to present the findings as discussed in the remaining report. 

Demographics

All the participants were asked to fill out a demographic questionnaire. The purpose of collecting this information was to check if the participants’ demographics had any impact on their approach to perform tasks and filling out other questionnaires.

Below is the summary of all the responses of demographic questionnaire. The charts summarizing the demographics are attached in the Appendix-1.

  • All participants belonged to age group of 18-40 years.
  • 67% of the participants were male, others were female.
  • Most of the participants were either studying at Swinburne or alumni of the university.
  • 84% of the participants commonly used either desktop or laptop for their web-browsing.

Tasks for Timetable Visualiser Website

The participants were asked to perform four key tasks that an actual user of the website will need to perform. The participants are also required to rate the difficulty of each task. The tasks are described below.

Task-1: Upload the timetable file for year 2019 in the system.

The users were provided the timetable file that they needed to upload during this task.

Reason for including this task: Uploading the timetable and study plan files is one of the key tasks that user will perform on the website. It was necessary to check if the participants find it easy to perform this task.

The usability requirements for this task required around 83.3% users to perform this task and take no more than 75 seconds to perform this task. The requirements also stated that the average difficulty rating for this task should be 2 or less.

Task-2: Create a study plan for first intake of 2018 MA-IT1 course having data analytics as specialisation and download PDF file for it.

Reason for including this task: Generating study plan is a core task for the system’s primary user. This helped us in deciding whether users will be able to perform this task easily or not as this task is bit tricky for new users.

The usability requirement for this task required around 83.3% users to perform this task without assistance and use no more than 100 seconds to finish this task. The average difficulty prediction for this task was around 2.5 for new users.

Task-3: "Schedule a timetable for first semester of 2019 MA-ITPC1 course having software development as specialization."

Reason for including this task: This task is also one of the key tasks and more frequently used functionality of the system. The task is not straight forward like the other tasks. It requires the participants to think harder while performing the task.

The usability requirements for this task required around 83.3% participants to complete this task without assistance and use no more than 85 seconds to perform this task. The average difficulty rating predicted for this task was 2.5 or less for new users.

Task-4: “Download the 2017 MA-IT1 study plan file which is already uploaded in the system.”

Reason for including this task: The task is not one of the key tasks, but the user may require downloading the files of study plan and timetable in order to modify them and upload again.

The usability requirements for this task required around 83.3% users to complete this task without assistance in under 60 seconds. The average difficulty range for this task was set to 1.

Participant Characteristics

A table highlighting the demographics and characteristics of the participants are shown in below table.

Table 1 Participant Demographics

Participant

Age (years)

Gender

Association with Swinburne

Device used for Web-browsing

1

25-40

Male

No Association

Mobile Phones

2

18-24

Female

Former Student

Desktop/Laptop

3

25-40

Male

Former Student

Desktop/Laptop

4

18-24

Female

Current Student

Desktop/Laptop

5

25-40

Male

Current Student

Desktop/Laptop

6

18-24

Male

Current Student

Desktop/Laptop

Results of Timetable Visualiser Website

The results of usability testing process for each participant describing the time taken by participant, assistance required, his/her comments and observer’s remarks are shown in below tables.

Table 2 Participant - 1 Usability Evaluation Results

Participant – 01

Tasks

Time(s)

Assists

Complete

Participant comments

Observer comments

1

32

0

Y

 

Uploaded the provided file successfully

2

130

1

Y

don't know why to get the file

was stuck on the "Upload" tab, couldn't find the other tabs initially

3

35

0

Y

know what's going on now

didn't realise he completed the task once the timetable is generated

4

40

0

Y

 

downloaded the file successfully.

Table 3 Participant - 2 Usability Evaluation Results

Participant – 02

Tasks

Time(s)

Assists

Complete

Participant comments

Observer comments

1

70

1

Y

 

File uploaded, after selecting file to upload, was confused what to do.

2

92

0

Y

 

was stuck on the "Upload" tab, couldn't find the other tabs initially

3

73

1

Y

 

Had difficulty in understanding which tab to select.

4

89

1

Y

There is no download PDF option in website

Was confused with the files in upload tab. And didn't see PDF option before generating study plan.

Table 4 Participant - 3 Usability Evaluation Results

Participant – 03

Tasks

Time(s)

Assists

Complete

Participant comments

Observer comments

1

103

0

Y

 

Was not sure if he had completed the task

2

158

0

N

Confusion with different labels

Downloaded the wrong specialisation. Confused between list of file upload and the study and timetable tab

3

141

0

N

 

Confused between list of file upload and timetable tab again. He looked at the specialisation and did not click on the timetable to view it as there was no clash

4

48

0

Y

 

User completed it easily

Table 5 Participant - 4 Usability Evaluation Results

Participant – 04

Tasks

Time(s)

Assists

Complete

Participant comments

Observer comments

1

38

0

N

Not sure from where to get the file.

Issue because the file wasn't supplied.

2

31

0

Y

 

Performed the task very easily.

3

50

0

Y

Not sure if the timetable was scheduled or not.

took some time to get to selecting specialisation page

4

26

0

Y

 

Selected the correct file very fast.

Table 6 Participant - 5 Usability Evaluation Results

Participant – 05

Tasks

Time(s)

Assists

Complete

Participant comments

Observer comments

1

48

0

N

 

didn’t understood the task and moved to next task

2

200

1

Y

 

Selected wrong specialisation, re did the task correctly

3

80

0

Y

not sure from where to select specialisation

took some time to get to selecting specialisation page

4

160

2

Y

don't know from where to download the file

Didn't understood where the list of uploaded files are.

Table 7 Participant - 6 Usability Evaluation Results

Participant – 06

Tasks

Time(s)

Assists

Complete

Participant comments

Observer comments

1

22

0

Y

 

was able to complete the task easily as I provided the excel file before the testing

2

51

0

Y

 

Completed the task with no issues

3

107

0

Y

was not able to understand the task description

took some time to understand the task description and found difficulty in selecting the specialisation

4

30

0

Y

 

easily identified the study plan file and downloaded it

Based on the standard usability scale the SUS questionnaire was provided to participants and based on their responses the SUS score was calculated. The table showing the SUS score and task difficulty rating given by participants is shown below.

Table 8 Task Difficulty Rating and SUS Score

Task Difficulty Rating

 

Participant No.

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3

Task 4

SUS Score

1

1

2

1

1

100

2

1

1

1

1

95

3

4

5

5

1

70

4

2

2

3

1

95

5

1

2

2

5

50

6

1

2

4

1

92.5

Average

1.67

2.33

2.67

1.67

83.75

The website achieved an average SUS score of 83.75 which signifies that the website design is effective and user-friendly.

User Issues

As can be seen in tables 2-7 most participants faced two issues:

  • They were not sure about how to schedule the timetable and were not sure if they completed this task or not. This happened because the task description asks the participants to schedule the timetable for software development specialization and the timetable tab doesn’t have the specialization dropdown.
  • The participants were not sure from where they can download the study plan file. This happened because the list of already uploaded files, which are available for download is given under the upload tab.

Next section discusses how these issues were handled.

Limitation and Constraints of Timetable Visualiser Website

  • Could not recruit the participants from primary user group of the website.
  • It is difficult to control participant’s environment which can lead to disturbance at the participant end.
  • Noticing participants screen activity depends on third party screen-sharing tools like zoom which generally needs an exceptional broadband connection.

Conclusion on Timetable Visualiser Website

A usability test for Timetable visualizer website was conducted to understand how easy it was to use the website or how user-friendly it was. The test was conducted in five steps – at first a consent was taken from the test participants to use their data in the study, followed by a demographic questionnaire was filed to understand if the demographics had any impact on the usability of the website. Next, the participants were asked to complete a series of tasks on the website which was followed by a SUS questionnaire to understand their experience. At last, a feedback questionnaire was filled to understand the improvements that the participants thought was required in making the website more user-friendly. The SUS questionnaire resulted that the website was easy to use and user-friendly. The two challenges that the users felt were not being able to download the study plan and scheduling a timetable. Regardless of the few limitations such as not recruiting participants from the primary user group, not being able to effectively control the environment of the participants, and not having exceptional broadband speed, the test was successful. Overall it was a successful test which helped the researchers in identifying the problem and finding solution to it.

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