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David Zeng's Application

App to be evaluated: David Zeng's BART App

Home Page

Screen Shot

Image: Home1.jpg Image: Home2.jpg

Flexibility and efficiency of use

This screen is really confusing for a first time user. I think I will just touch all the text labels first and touch Ticket Guide because that is the top button. It is difficult to understand what it means by “Stored Trips” is for a first time user. Also the Stored Trips do not show up unless the user restarts the application (so it does not show up when he/she store trips and go back to the home page, the user actually have to press the round button on the iPhone and open the application again in order to look at it).

Severity: 3 (Major Problem)

This is because of the second problem of the Stored Trips not showing up unless the user re-opens the application. The first problem is not that big because even for the first time user, this application is so simple that he/she will figure out how to use it by just playing around with the application for few minutes. However, it is difficult to figure out how the Stored Trips works. I will be so frustrated if the fare does not show up on that page when I got back and try to figure it out forever and notice when I turn off my iPhone that the stored fare only shows up that way.

Aesthetic and minimalist design

Like I said in the first problem, too many buttons (with bad names, don’t really know what each button does) and hard to understand what Stored Trips does for first time users.

Severity: 1 (Cosmetic Problem)

This is not really a problem because most users will figure out how it works by just playing around with the application. Also, the helping menus are really helpful, so it is not a problem at all actually. I just think there should be a way to make it little clearer.

Bart Quick Guide

Screen Shot

Image: BQG.jpg

Consistency and standards

On the Home Page it says “Find Trip Cost” on the button but on this page it says “Calculate Fare” even though it goes to the same page.

Severity: 1 (Cosmetic Problem)

It is not a problem but just to keep it all the same it is nice to choose one wording so it looks better (most people probably not even notice this problem).

Flexibility and efficiency of use

For a first time user, he/she will have no idea what “Hot Spot” button does. It should be clear what Hot Spot is

Severity: 1 (Cosmetic Problem)

Again it is a problem with clarity but it should not matter that much.

Real Time Arrivals

Screen Shot

Image: RTA.jpg

Visibility of system status

When the user pushes the Refresh button, it does not do anything to tell the user that the application is actually getting the new time or not. David Zeng actually pushed the button numerous time in the video to prove it was working but it did not change time because he was doing within that minute so the BART time was not changing, so I started wondering whether it was working or not. It is confusing without any visibility whether it actually is connecting to the Internet to get the newest info or it is just not working.

Severity: 3 (Major Problem)

If I wonder if it is working or not within a 4 minute video, it is probably a major problem. I thought his iPhone was not connected to online (even though that is impossible because this is just iPhone simulator so it must be connected). It will be much better if there is the “Loading…” letters when it is retrieving the data and “Done” when it finishes it. This becomes a major problem when the user is in a hurry and wants the BART train to come as fast as possible and keeps pressing the Refresh button and he/she will wonder if his application is working or not because nothing in the page changes except the color of the button.

Flexibility and efficiency of use

Again there is a problem with wording. First time BART users don’t know why it says “Station: Fremont / Millbrae / Richmond” even though he/she wants the time for the station at Downtown Berkeley (It should say “Train To:” or “Destination:” instead of “Station:”). Also, the user cannot change the station because it chooses the closest station but if someone is asking the user to check when the next BART train is coming for him/her at some other place, this application is useless.

Severity: 3 (Major Problem)

It is really nice that the application finds the closest BART station but iPhone is supposed to be a convenient phone. There should be many times when someone else asks for the BART time for him/her since it is a phone and people talk on phones. Also, the station part will be confusing to the first-time part users because they do not recognize places like Fremont, Millbrae, and Richmond as types of BART trains, but just by places. This is a 3 because problem with not being able to change the station will happen a lot of times.

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