Saturday, 17 December 2011

'Users need standardised visual cues to use devices which move or transform': ReScript editing issue 4

Page section
Article editor


Users were unanimous in liking the manuscript image viewer but none of them understood its potential for movement/resizing without interviewer intervention.

Impact severity

That design conventions for resizing objects be researched and employed on the manuscript image viewer, with some accompanying help text.

The user engaged with the controls inside the image viewer (zoom in/out, normal size and shrink to fit, but failed to resize the whole box, meaning their image viewer stayed the same size throughout their session, unnecessarily restricting its utility.

Figure 4—1: users controlled the size of the manuscript within the box - it wasn't apparent that they could extend the viewer's size as well by dragging the box border.

Quantitative measure
Click where you would expect to be able to expand the size of the manuscript images

Actual question
Click where you would expect to be able to expand the size of the manuscript images

Initial click test result ('before')
November 2011: 120 responses.
Figure 4—2: Before

Development change
Consolidate manuscript images into one 'viewer' with a menu to select different images. Note that the design of the extensible border was not changed.

Figure 4—3: single image viewer concentrates attention on one spot and eliminates the possibility of the image appearing below the fold and so being missed

Follow-up click test result ('after')
December 2011: 90 responses.
Figure 4—4: After
The objective was met through the convincing grouping of clicks; however, it is not possible to discern the effectiveness of the extensible border because this type of test is static, i.e. users interact with an image of the page, not the page itself, so they cannot hover over the border, see the mouse cursor change to a resizable icon. Although impossible to test in this way, it should still be possible to include this functionality in a demonstration video, or a prior training course.

The objective of the question is so clear that it reveals a certain number of clicks from users who are simply not engaged with the test - this helps to give the analyst a sense of the amount of disinterested or wasted replies and think about whether the people approached to take the survey were properly identified and communicated with. In addition, the sequencing of difficult questions at the start may have led some users to think that they could not manage the rest of the survey.

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