[drupal-devel] [Fwd: Feedback from two usability sessions on CivicSpace]

Carl McDade carl_mcdade at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 18 22:26:02 UTC 2005

LOL,that's is funny also.

It goes much better when you use ISO 9000 guidelines to construct the
UI. Then you have something rather than someone to blame. It is also
easier to fix.

Carl McDade

Dries Buytaert wrote:
> Good read, valuable feedback.
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Feedback from two usability sessions on CivicSpace
> Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2005 07:40:30 -0800
> From: Kieran Lal <kieran at civicspacelabs.org>
> To: civicspace-community at civicspacelabs.org
> Hello,  I managed to squeeze in two usability sessions yesterday to
> test the release.  I'll try to be brief, and when I get
> connected I'll file usability issues at CivicSpaceLabs.orb/project.
> First test:
> Scenario: Community organizer wants blogs, policies(Book), and contact
> information online.  Their site has been professionally customized to
> do only those three things using 0.8.0.x Democratica theme
> Feedback:
> -After user logged on they didn't know what to do because there were no
> action words inviting them to do something.  i.e. blogs instead of
> create a blog.
> -User did not know how to create content because the user doesn't think
> of the site as a content management  site.  They think of it as a site
> that has blogs, contact info,etc.  Therefore, Create Content does not
> provide the cues to open the menu.
> -Messages on the create content page are too small to be read.  "Might
> as well be in Swahili"
> -User is overwhelmed by the three boxes of options and twelve options
> altogether.   The user does not know what a path alias is.   The user
> has to scroll down the screen because content dropping of the options
> boxes pushes the preview button off the screen.  Previewing is an
> unnecessary step.
> Second Test:  Video capture installation of CivicSpace and
> configuration of contacts, users, and an attempt to send an invitation
> email.
> Users were started at a firefox window with install.php screen in front
> of them.
> -Users found messages on first page overwhelmingly confusing.  They
> just clicked ok and moved to the next screen.
> -Users had two errors.  Both were write permissions to conf.php, and
> files directory.  They were successful in getting to help pages.  User
> had no command line experience.  Did not know how to get into the
> includes directory on a unix host. i.e. (cd includes).  User's
> proceeded to type what was in bold at the command line:  localhost%
> chmod blah blah.  I had to step in and tell them not to type
> localhost%.
> -Next they had to set permissions on the files directory.  They thought
> they had to be in the files directory to set the permissions.  But
> first they didn't know how to get out of the includes directory at the
> command line.
> -I didn't give them the database name and password, so I had to come in
> and give the wrong user name, database name, and wrong prefix.
> Eventually, firefox suggested the right answers from the last install I
> did using that browser.  I'll have to clear the firefox browser cache
> for the next test.
> -Once the site was configured and running they added several users.
> They wanted to know where to add people so they could send them an
> invitation email.  They tried to add email addresses.  I ended up
> explaining that contacts is where they could add email addresses.   I
> explained that contacts was like the address book in hotmail, and users
> was like the people who have email accounts at hotmail.
> -Once users were added, they went to contacts to try and send
> invitations.  They were surprised that users information they just
> entered was not in contacts.
> -Next they tried to send out invitation emails.   It was very clear
> that there were no cues as to where to configure mail.   The entire
> interface is clearly functional in nature and not at all
> self-explanatory, or able to provide any useful cues.  I directed them
> to mass mailer which left them with a large number of options.   There
> was confusion about where to go to configure it.  I directed them to
> admin and settings and there were so many options it was confusing.  I
> directed them to set mail to work off a cron job to try and activate it
> by going to cron.php.  Cron.php gave a completely blank page.   At this
> point, the entire experience had plummeted into chaos.
> -Two notable additional experiences were watching two very well
> educated intelligent people stare and mouse hover at the "Queue
> message" button for a what felt like an eternity.   Also, in an effort
> to customize the invite message, the users change the user% and added
> their name hoping that this would send the message.
> Whew!  Deep breaths, deep breaths, breath directly into the paper bag.
> 3 days of usability training are just what the doctor ordered.
> Kieran
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