Welcome to the I214 Site

January 13th, 2010
Posted in course logistics
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This page is the course blog with various news items. Among the links you’ll see Syllabus and other pages.  Enrolled and potential students, please look at Essential Information if you haven’t yet.

Presentation Schedule

April 26th, 2010
Posted in final projects
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updated 4/26/10 2:30 PM

Tues May 4

2:15-2:40 Thermostat

2:45-3:10 Brightstorm

3:15-3:40 City CarShare


3:55-4:20 PawPrint

4:25-4:50 Bearmaps

Thurs May 6

2:15-2:35 –  Caring.com

2:40-3:05  Social Media

3:10-3:35 bSpace

Final Project Presentation Guidelines

April 24th, 2010
Posted in assignments, final projects
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Final Project Presentation Guidelines

Video Advice

April 14th, 2010
Posted in tools
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Never handhold if you can possibly avoid it. Use a tripod or a firm surface.

If you zoom and pan while you film, do it sllloooooooowwwwwwllllyyyy.

Try never to use the on-camera mike.  If you do, remember that everything closer to the mike (e.g., YOU) will be louder.

Pay attention to the background!

After I posted this, I found this which repeats much of what I’ve said, but says more.

Photographic Rules of Thumb

April 14th, 2010
Posted in tools, Uncategorized
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Image resolution needed: 300 dpi for printing, 72 dpi for computer screen

Handholding the camera: most people can handhold no slower than 1/60th second. Some can go down to 1/30th.  Safest is to stay at 1/125th or above.  (If the shutter speed is too slow, camerashake will make the picture blurry.)

Rule of thirds: composition is more attractive if key elements are not centered, but 1/3 of the way from an edge.

When there are people in the picture, focus on their eyes.  That’s the part of the picture that people most care about.

When there are people in the picture, expose for their faces.  Ditto.

Size of image: despite the current discussion about how megapixels don’t matter, that’s only when you get to large numbers.  Larger image files = more pixels = you can  crop  and still have a good image.

Never ever ever use digital zoom, only optical.  Digital zoom just makes the pixels bigger.  (Most p&s cameras will do optical zoom up to a point, then zoom further with digital. Turn off the digital.)

Photography Resources – mostly for point-and-shoot

April 14th, 2010
Posted in tools
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updated 4/15

Advice for point-and-shoot camera users:

Editing (adjusting the image):


Slides posted

March 31st, 2010
Posted in slides
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Slides for several classes posted today:

Field Observation



Diary Studies

Focus groups

Online Focus Groups

March 31st, 2010
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Good summary of the literature and main advantages and disadvantages to online focus groups (for all purposes):

BMC Med Res Methodol. 2009 Mar 3;9:15.

Online focus groups as a tool to collect data in hard-to-include populations: examples from paediatric oncology.

Tates KZwaanswijk MOtten Rvan Dulmen SHoogerbrugge PMKamps WABensing JM.

NIVEL (Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research), BN Utrecht, The Netherlands. k.tates@nivel.nl

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this article is to describe and evaluate the methodology of online focus group discussions within the setting of paediatric oncology. METHODS: Qualitative study consisting of separate moderated asynchronous online discussion groups with 7 paediatric cancer patients (aged 8-17), 11 parents, and 18 survivors of childhood cancer (aged 8-17 at diagnosis). RESULTS: All three participant groups could be actively engaged over a one-week period. Respondents highly valued the flexibility and convenience of logging in at their own time and place to join the discussion. Adolescent patients and survivors emphasized that the anonymity experienced made them feel comfortable to express their views in detail. The findings indicate a strong preference for online group discussions across all participant groups. CONCLUSION: The findings show that online focus group methodology is a feasible tool for collecting qualitative data within the setting of paediatric oncology, and may offer new opportunities to collect data in other hard-to-include populations. The evaluations seem to indicate that the online group discussions have given participants an opportunity to articulate their experiences and views in a way they might not have done in a traditional group discussion.

For Thurs April 1

March 30th, 2010
Posted in assignments, schedule
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Please bring to class a dozen or more topics, observations, quotes, issues, etc. from your interviews, from usability tests, from the literature, or other sources related to your project.  If possible, bring on medium-sized post-its, preferably 3×3 inch size.

If you don’t have such evidence for your project now, make something up for the sake of the exercise. Or find something online.

You’re going to spend some time in class with your group combining the contributions from all of you to find some themes.

If you’re doing a project on your own, you can attach yourself to a group for the sake of this exercise — you don’t HAVE to have observations of your own to contribute.

We won’t spend the whole class time on this.

Sample usability reports

March 29th, 2010
Posted in final projects, reporting
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This page has links to dozens of reports!  To evaluate them, put yourself in the position of the client: does this tell you what you need to know?  Too little? Too much? Not the right info?  http://www.pdfgeni.com/book/usability-report-pdf.html

From Usability.gov —  http://www.usability.gov/templates/index.html#Usability — their other templates are useful, too.

Test report templates for writing the usability test report.

Good reference on usability topics and methods

March 29th, 2010
Posted in Uncategorized
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Just ran across this —

Preview of the Usability Body of Knowledge — Usability Professionals’ Association is creating this reference work.