Academic Projects

Collaborators: Jin Ah Chon, Pam Griffith, Yanfeng Chen, Yu-Ling Chuang

1.0 TSRB Navigational Assistant
Problem identification of the current navigational system inside the TSRB (Tech Square Research Building) by analyzing users’ characteristics and tasks involved. There were usability issues with the location and UI of the current kiosk. We proposed different solutions but chose one to test: a new kiosk interface with a PDA that the users can carry along. A wizard-of-oz technique was used to test the accuracy of instructions and speed of task completion compared to other design options.

Analysis: Task Analysis/ Function-Allocation/ Mental Workload (NASA-TLX) Interface Analysis
Testing: Wizard-of-Oz/ Heuristic evaluation

Collaborators: Ogechi Nnadi, Sarah Williams, Kyle Woodlock


2.0 iPark: Increasing Public Transit Use through Persuasive Technology
We designed a system to encourage people to use public transportation more often, and thus reduce air pollution, road congestion, and several other problems. Our system, an in-car navigational assistant, monitors the user’s driving habits and suggests public transit routes that could save the user money, time, and stress. We created a prototype and evaluated the interface using a Wizard of Oz technique. From the feedback we received, we produced a final design that is effective in encouraging car owners to use public transportation.

Analysis: Surveys Task Analysis
Testing: Usability Study/ Post-task interview/ Heuristic Evaluation


3.0 Xanga vs. LiveJournal
Evaluation of and A heuristic evaluation was conducted as well as a cognitive walkthrough aim at analyzing sign up, post, and log off tasks. The cognitive walkthrough was video/audio recorded.

Testing: Cognitive Walkthrough/ Heuristic Evaluation

Collaborators: Pam Griffith, Sarah Williams


4.0 Guild Hall: Maple Story Global
We followed a human-centered approach from the start. The aim was to evaluate this MMORPG based on Amy Jo Kim’s 9 principles for community design. Contextual inquiry showed that players were not getting much out of the guild feature. We conducted several interviews by phone and email to understand what the players needed to enjoy this feature. We came out with UI mockups that allowed players to recruit and be recruited based on keywords related to specific categories such as language, country, and others.

Analysis: Amy Jo Kim’s 9 principles for community design/ Contextual inquiry/ Interviews/ Personas/ Prototyping


5.0 Liveness in Second Life
An analytic approach to Second Life and its liveness. What’s perceived as “live” inside this virtual world? Method: participant observation in Second Life activities showing live poetry, music, and video. Conclusion: There is a perceived physical (avatar’s presence) and temporal (synchronous interaction) liveness in Second Life.

 Analysis: Contextual Inquiry


6.0 Multitasking while Playing Computer Games
After playing Maple Story Global for a while and keeping a journal, I realized many of the players were constantly interacting with their real-life environment. Most of them used the Alt+tab command to switch tasks on their computers. In order to know how widespread this was, I conducted a series of semi-structured interviews. The result was what I expected. I was amazed at how the game conflicted with its players’ behavior and suggested several changes.

 Analysis: Contextual Inquiry/ Interviews


7.0 Designing Play’n work
While researching about multitasking I found several software programs that claim to help gamers’ with their multitasking behavior. In this paper, I evaluate these applications and design a new one (low-fidelity prototype) following a set of criteria with a focus on human sensation, perception, and cognition principles.

 Testing: Heuristic Evaluation/ Prototype