Contextual Inquiry and Analysis-Group:Group 14
Team Members and Contributions
Jesse Albini - Analysis of Approach
Ilya Landa - Interviewed Joanne and Ashley
Megan Marquardt - Interviewed Sally and Amy, wrote up List of Tasks, Task Analysis Questions, Interface Design, created mock-ups for design section
Jim, Kai Man - Interviewed Jose and Joyce, storyboarded the Three Scenarios
All of us contributed to the analysis, prototyping, and discussion of the overall UI design and specific tasks.
User Introductions and Backgrounds
User #1, Sally
Third year female college student, majoring is mass communications. Member of a sorority, frequently uses cell phone for meeting up with friends for grabbing lunch or studying together. Uses moderate technology for cell phone, main uses are texting and calling.
User #2, Amy
Third year female college student, majoring in chemical engineering, also a member of a sorority. Uses iPhone frequently, always on the internet looking up information and checking email and facebook. Also uses phone for directions when on the road.
User #3, Jose
24 year old, management of information systems major in SJSU. Technologically inclined, uses iPhone frequently mainly for GPS and internet connection.
User #4, Joanne
Middle-aged woman, without an overly extensive social circuit. Most planning is done a day or two ahead of time, and prefers hand-written notes and calendar. Not very computer-proficient, main cell phone communication is calling other people.
User #5, Ashley
High student student with a lot of friends. Uses cell phone mostly for social purposes and sometimes runs into trouble coordinating activities with friends.
User #6, Joyce
23-year-old college student, majoring in economics. Uses cell phone mainly for text messaging and calling people, sometimes uses calendar for important dates.
Problem and Solution Overview
Existing maps are very impersonal and don’t share information about the quality of certain locations, such as restaurants, café’s, parks, etc. Our application would provide a way to personalize maps to include information that the user is interested in. Each user has their own personal map, containing both their current location pin and pins of interest (abbreviated POI in the rest of this paper) and an associated comment with each pin. The comment can be a preference, a good tip, a suggestion, whatever the user wants to share about that location. There are three levels of pins, personal, protected, and public. The personal pinmap is accessible only to the user, protected is accessible only to a selected group of friends, and public is accessible to all users. This creates a way to be able to find friends’ locations, find great restaurants that the general public recommends, and an archive of the locations that the user loves and hates.
Interview Descriptions and Results
We interviewed a total of 27 users, but chose to focus on 6 of them. Their backgrounds are detailed above. We have given them names and will describe each interview in detail. Looking at the interviews overall, the biggest concern to interviewees was the security issue. Many of them didn't want to share any information with the general public. When asked how they would feel about it if only their friends could see their information, they were more willing to agree with that idea. Most said it would be a good idea to make different categories available or not available to their friends, such as they want their friends to see their current location, but not their calendar events.
Sally was interviewed at Café Strada, when working on homework and texting friends on cell phone, trying to collaborate a study session. The environment was busy, with a lot of distractions and noise. Being a very social person, she wants to be connected with her friends at all times, and does not want to text five different people in order to see who’s in class or who’s on campus. She doesn’t really use maps, only when she needs to go somewhere unknown and usually just uses MapQuest. She felt the program would be most useful for college students, since it is a form of a social networking tool. When trying to meet up with friends, she wants to know whether people are available within 10-15 minutes and doesn’t really plan ahead a day or two. When meeting up with other people doesn’t work out, it’s mostly an inconvenience and not a very frustrating event. Important things that she pointed out were that the system would be really cool for when traveling to an unknown city, especially because of the map/directions feature and also because good restaurants would be easy to find because of either her friends’ or the general public’s recommendations.
Amy was interviewed as a passenger in the car traveling to Sacramento, with little distractions other than the radio and the road. She is an avid user of the iPhone and used it constantly to look up small tidbits of information off of wikipedia, to check the traffic, look up directions, and text/call friends. She thought our program would be most useful to people in business and younger adults, or when someone is lost. Her interview was very interesting because her phone already had the technology available for what we want to implement in our program since it contains Google Maps, which has a pin feature. This feature, however, only has a title and its functionality is limited. She was very interested in the ideas that these pins could be shared among friends and could have the associated comment, which she thinks would personalize each pin. When she doesn’t have a good internet connection to get directions, it is usually just an inconvenience since she can call someone and ask them to look it up on their computers. When we asked her how long it look to learn to use the iPhone, she said it was very simple, just needed to play around with it a little bit, maybe look up one or two tasks that she couldn’t figure out. The user interface is very visual, so she had little problem learning how to use the programs on the iPhone.
Jose is a 24 year-old iPhone user, and was interviewed on the way to San Francisco in the car. He is a part-time student in San Jose State University and also a young working people. He explained that he doesn’t use the calendar feature that much since he doesn’t have to schedule a lot of group meetings in school. He is working most of the time, so people are usually around the working place, leaving no specific need to coordinate with co-workers using a map system. He travels a lot, and GPS is very important to him. Although he is good at mapping, he would like to have a GPS in his car just in case he can find his way out when he is lost. He mentioned that he would be very pleased with our POI feature, so that users can rate different places.
Joanne is a middle-age woman without an overly extensive social circuit. She was interviewed at home while planning for the next day. A calendar is an important organizing tool for organizing her. However, she prefers a paper calendar for its simplicity in use. Also, she said that her plans do not change often in the middle of the day, so she doesn’t need to update her calendar on the go. Also, Joanne said she was not comfortable enough dealing with cell phones and other electronic devices to maintain a complex application. However, she got very excited about an idea to have an interactive and easy to use map. Actually, when I started describing out project, she asked me if she would be able to mark useful POI’s on the map. For her, map functions would be much more useful than chatting or sharing schedule information with other people. As long as interface is clear and easy to use.
Ashley was interviewed on her way from school. She said she doesn’t use the calendar feature on her cell phone. However, she liked the idea of having a shared calendar with her friends “As long as it is safe” She doesn’t have a calendar feature on her cell phone, but believes that it would be useful. She has a lot of friends, and sometimes runs into trouble coordinating her activities with theirs. She was worried, though, that such application may get too complex and hard to use. Ashley expressed mixed feelings about a makeable map. Living in Walnut Creek, she seldom has trouble remembering the location of interesting places, or being able to verbally agree on a place of meeting. Though, she does admit that with a good UI, this map application may come handy from time, to time.
Joyce is a Berkeley student at economic major, and was interviewed when working in the accounting office in International House. She has a very busy semester with all the events and meetings with other group mates. We asked her about the idea of sharing information on the cell phone so that people in her address list and people who are taking the same class with her will have a chance to know when will she have free time to meet up. But she responded, “No, I don’t like this. I don’t want people to know what I am going to do at certain time. It is my secret.” We found the idea of sharing information really scares people since they don’t really know who will have access to their information. That led us to focus more on the privacy issue associated with our program, which will be explained in the Design section later.
List of Tasks
- Looking at current location of the user and being able to see surrounding area and pins. Look at public pins, protected pins, or personal pins.
- Be able to manipulate map, zoom in and zoom out, move to different sectors of the map, and jump to different locations.
- Getting directions, being able to input a starting destination and ending destination, according both to inputted locations and POIs.
- Insert a pin at a location, setting the privacy level (personal, protected, public), and adding a comment associated with the pin.
- Browsing and searching POIs. Can search for a friend’s map, for a friend’s location, for a certain pin, for a certain place, for a particular comment. Search can be within the viewable area, within a city, state, or country.
- Visualizing user’s calendar using the map, such that the events for either that day or that week are pinned at their location and the comment is the time and event title. This can be synched with google calendar, or user can manually insert pins according to what events they want to pin.
Task Analysis Questions
Who is going to use this system?
Age group of 20-40 years old, specifically workers and college students. This is more of a social tool, so those that want to know what their friends are up to, curious about places around town. As well as this specific age group, users who drive and need directions would be a good target group.
What tasks do they now perform?
Use MapQuest and Google for directions and maps, some iPhone owners use the pin feature of Google maps, but not extensively by our interview group. They share information about different locations via texting and calling.
What tasks are desired?
Being able to see where friends, not necessarily everyone in the general public, are located. Driving directions are very desired by the majority of the interviewees. The idea of synching maps with friends was very appealing to about half of the interviewees. Sally specifically liked the task of getting information about locations such as restaurants, especially when traveling in an unknown area.
How are the tasks learned?
Usually no learning curve, system is easy enough that everything is intuitive. IPhone users that we interviewed said they sometimes had to look up small tasks, but for the most part was very easy and required no learning.
Where are the tasks performed?
Some were on the move. Two of the interviewees that we focused on were in the car going somewhere. The idea of maps and directions was very useful for this. The others that wanted to use the system for coordinating locations with friends usually were stationary, trying to figure things out by texting or calling other friends.
What’s the relationship between the user and data?
Data in terms of the specific locations that users would pin, are personal in that they insert the comment about that location, which expresses their own opinion about it. When the data refers to the map, there is a less personal connection since it is just a map. The pins on the map and the sharing of the pins among friends create the personal interest between the user and the data.
What other tools does the user have?
IPhone – google maps, mapquest, meebo, facebook, internet in general. Also has physical maps and calendars.
How do users communicate with each other?
Texting and calling. About half said primarily for texting and half primarily for calling.
How often are the tasks performed?
This varied for our interviewees. Sally said she used her phone for coordinating lunches and meetings with people several times everyday, whereas Joanne rarely used her phone to plan meetings because of a lighter social schedule. Some said they rarely used online or phone calendars because they are so cumbersome to use, so they only used it for important dates. However, some saw the appeal of synching the calendar with the map because they have very busy daily schedules and it would help to visualize it.
What are the time constraints on the tasks?
Users liked immediate results, when the internet connection is slow or wifi is not available, it is frustrating that it takes so long. When coordinating a meeting, users wanted to be able to figure things out within 10-15 minutes, not over the span of a few days. Since users use this program on the cell phone, it obviously should not take long to input data, insert a pin, or to browse the map.
What happens when things go wrong?
Most users just saw this as an inconvenience, rather than utter frustration. If a meeting can’t be coordinated, it’s not that big of a deal. When directions can’t be found because of internet or reception troubles, the user can call someone and ask them to look up directions on their computer. If the directions take a user longer because of inaccurate information, this may create more of a problem if they are late for an appointment, but it isn’t too much of a problem.
Our application is a map with commented pins. There are two overall functions that this provides: a personal pin map and the sharing of others’ pin maps with others. There are three levels of sharing for each pin that a user can create: Personal, Protected, or Public. There are also different categories that the pins can be part of: Calendar Event, Restaurant, City Landmark, Store, Park, Café, etc.
When viewing the pin map, there are several different ways for pins to display. The user can view all pins, just their personal pins, just their friends’ pins (which is the protected option), or the public pins available to everyone. Display of different sharing levels and categories is navigated in menus, using each menu option as a toggle switch. When Personal/Protected/Public is toggled on, a menu pops up with options of different categories of the pins.
The system heavily relies on GPS, so naturally it takes advantage of that to show the user directions when they want to know how to get from one pin to another or from their current location to a selected pin. Naturally, navigating the map is a large portion of the functionality. The map will be easy to manipulate, being able to zoom in/out and move up/down/left/right. There will also be an easy way to access the menu in order to find different pins and display different sharing levels and categories.
The settings will allow the user to personalize their usage of their pin map. One important setting is selecting which friends are included within the “Protected” sharing level. People are selected from the address book and only these people will be able to see that user’s pin map. Another important setting is how the calendar is synched with the map, whether it takes events from an external calendar such as Google Calendar, iCal, or whether “calendar event” is simply a category, such that data is entered in the same way a “Restaurant” category pin would be. Settings also allows user to choose colors for different sharing levels or categories.
User Interface Description
To move around the map, we wanted to create something intuitive so we decided to incorporate a 9-square grid into the map and use that for zooming capabilities. The user presses one of the 1-9 numbers on their phone and this zooms into the associated grid square. The user presses 0 to zoom out, staying centered on the same location. The navigation buttons (left/right/down/up) are used for translation around the map, so up would move the map north, right is east, and so on.
Selecting a Pin
A pin is always highlighted depending on which pin is closest to the center of the screen. The comment associated with the highlighted pin is displayed in a abbreviated form, giving the first few words followed by “…”. The map is translated to highlight the central pin, and user selects a pin by pressing the center button. This brings up a pop-up screen that shows the location, the full comment, category, and pin owner (only if from the protected sharing level). To exit this pop-up screen, the user simply presses the back button and it goes back to the previous screen.
There is a menu that is located at the bottom of the map, including a limited number of options for the user to select. The user accesses the menu by pressing the menu button and the navigation buttons (left/right/up/down) and center button can be used to navigate through options. To get out of menu mode, the user just presses the back button. The options on the main menu are [ DISPLAY ] [ SEARCH ] [ INSERT PIN ] [ SETTINGS].
- [ DISPLAY ] brings up the menu of [PUBLIC] [PROTECTED] [PRIVATE], which allows user to toggle these sharing levels on/off. When toggled on, another menu pops up: [DISPLAY ALL] [RESTAURANTS] [SHOPS] [CAFÉS] [UNCATEGORIZED], which has the same toggle functionality as the display menu. The protected and personal menus also include the [CURRENT LOCATION] and [CALENDAR EVENTS] category. In doing interviews with people, we found people were very concerned about sharing information, leading to our decision to put the current location and calendar events specifically in the protected and personal sharing levels. No one wanted to share this kind of information with the general public, and it would most likely develop into a security issue. The reason for creating the categories is to make sure the map does not become to cluttered for the user. If the user likes very simple and clean map, they can select only one category from one sharing level if they feel so inclined. Yet if the user likes to see as much information as possible, they can have all the sharing levels and categories turned on. This makes the interface more versatile and adaptable to the user’s personal aesthetic expectations.
- [ SEARCH ] brings up a menu for searching for different pins if the user wants to be able to find a specific pin or friend. There can be a basic search where a phrase is search in every category, or a more advanced search where only the text within the comment should be searched. Also, the user can search for a certain user and then select their current location to see where they are (only searches people on protected group list).
- [ INSERT PIN ] is the menu option that allows the user to insert a pin and all the associated information at the user’s current location. This is a basic form that the user fills out, including the sharing level choice and category choice.
- [ SETTINGS ] is the menu option that essentially brings up the preferences box, and allows the user to personalize this application and includes the options previously explained in the “Functionality Summary” section.
We wanted to menu to be as simple as possible, having a maximum of 4 selections to get to a certain screen from the map screen. Interviewees seemed to be very frustrated with the number of menus needed to get to a specific screen on their cellular phones, so we wanted to alleviate this frustration.
This mock-up shows how the display menu works. To get to this screen, the user would press the menu button, and "Display" by default would be highlighted. The user presses enter, and the public/protected/personal menu pops up with personal highlighted by default. User scrolls up to public and presses enter, displaying the category menu. The user navigates and pressed enter on Restaurants, Cafe's, and Shops, and they become bolded, like in this picture.
This mock-up shows how the inserting pin menu works. To get to this screen, the user would press the menu button, and Display would be highlighted by default. The user navigates to "Insert Pin" and presses enter. The box pops up and the text cursor is blinking. The user types in "Cafe Strada" and moves the text cursor down using the navigation keys, and types in "I love their mochas!" Moving the navigation key down again, the user highlights Protected under the Share Level and Cafes uder the Category section. The user scrolls down to the INSERT PIN button and completes the transaction.
It is important to note the grid which is only shown in the second mock-up. There is an icon on the main menu that looks like a keypad, when toggled on, the number grid will display in the background, to inform the user of where the map would zoom too if using the number pad zooming functionality.
Three Example Scenarios
1. Eve Economics is looking at her calendar and realizes she has an hour break from 5-6pm. She moves to our application and displays her personal pin map, with her calendar displayed. She sees a pin at Café Strada marked “Meeting 4-5pm” and pin at Lewis marked “Econ 101 6-7pm.” She wants to meet up with a friend for dinner, so she displays her friends’ calendars and see that Sally Sociology also has a pin at Cafe Milano marked “Group Project 4-5pm.” She selects this pin and it displays the pin information: “Café Milano: Group Project 4-5pm. Posted by Sally Sociology” She presses the call button and Eve calls Sally, asking if she wants to grab dinner.
2. Henry Hungry really wants a good cheeseburger, but he’s in an unfamiliar area. He takes out his cell phone and opens our application. He could display the public restaurant pins, but he is really craving a burger and only wants a burger. So he decides to search pins, selecting the “Search” menu button and inputs "burger". It displays the results on his current location map, but there is only one cheeseburger place, and the pin marked at it says “burgers are mediocre.” He wants a wider search, so he zooms out and sees a pin saying “AMAZING bacon cheeseburger!!” Since the map is a little too small, he uses the zooming features to zoom in on the ‘4’ grid square to see the exact intersection of the burger place.
3. Sharon Shopper steps out of a small boutique, with a thought bubble: “Does anyone know how amazing this shop is?” She takes out her phone and the directions to the boutique are still displayed from when she had to find her way there. She de-selects the directions and displays public pins and sees that there are no pins at her current location. She inserts a pin at current location, selects the “Public” type, selects the “Stores” category, and adds the associated comment: “Great vintage clothes, not too expensive.”
Analysis of Approach
Obviously, cell phones are not the only device on the market with the intention of making navigation and POI searching portable. Most GPS systems do both of these fairly well, and one might argue that any application feasible on a cell phone is feasible on a PDA or laptop. However, the planned environment for this application is quite different than those originally associated with these other devices. With that in mind, there are a few key advantages that cell phones present that make this application perfect for Android.
- Increased Portability
- Peer Networking
- User Ubiquity
First, let's take a look at the modern-day GPS device. A large percentage of these devices are designed to be used inside a car, which is perfectly fine for driving directions but utterly useless once the user is on foot. Even if a particularly intrepid user decides to carry the GPS device by hand, most of these devices are bulky and ill-designed for use while walking.
Most importantly, these devices have no ability for peer networking. Points of Interest are preprogrammed into the device and become quickly outdated. It's pretty frustrating to drive quite a few miles to a restaurant only to find out it had closed down a year ago. While many GPS device manufacturers offer updates to their POI database, these updates are few and far between and offer little more than addresses and over-simplified classifications.
Laptops are infinitely capable of peer networking yet fall short in terms of portability and ease of use. Even if a user is lucky enough to find an internet connection on the street, they are very unlikely to have built-in GPS. Without a GPS position, the maps application becomes quite a bit more tedious as the user must verify their location frequently (something not easily done in an unfamiliar area). Also, while laptops are much more portable than their desktop counterparts, they are hardly something you would keep on your person at all times. One of the strengths of this application is the ease of accessing information on the fly, and this is predicated on the idea that a user will always have their cell phone.
Lastly, PDAs offer a fairly good combination of portability and networking ability. However, PDAs are not nearly as common as cell phones by many orders of magnitude. Our application requires the user to have a network of peers to exchange map information with, and if they are the only one they know with the application (think of the Zune), then it becomes nearly useless. Our target user group is also much more likely to carry around a cell phone as opposed to a PDA. Insert non-formatted text here