From CS 160 User Interfaces Sp10

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Violation: No documentation

Rule: Help and Documentation

Why: There is no documentation associated with the application nor anyway of contacting the makers of the application if there is something wrong with it. However, since this is a common trait of iPhone applications and it is usually infeasible to have extensive documentation for a mobile application, I do not anticipate it being a large problem.

Severity: 1

Trip Planner

Violation: Name of second view in "Trip Planner" tab as well as the repeated text in the second view.

Rule: Consistency and Standards / Recognition rather than recall

Why: The title of the second view is "Scheduler", which implies that the user is back on the Scheduler tab. This is a faulty assumption since the tab selected is still the Trip Planner tab. There is also some confusion on what exactly is relevant in the view since information such as "Fare", "Address", and "Timings" is all presented in a view that is accessible only by clicking a "Show timings" link. A first time user would also not know that information about the Fare could be accessed through the "Show timings" link and would have to remember this path of accessing this information for their next use of the application. The repeated text in the "Timings" part of the table also just unnecessarily creates clutter in an otherwise aesthetically appealing view.

Severity: 3

Frequency: There are multiple problems that lower the usability of this particular set of views. The frequency of each of the problems is at most once, per problem.

Impact: I think the problem concerning the access of information about fares and addresses would be difficult to overcome. The other problems such as the aesthetics of the view and the title of the view are much easier to overcome, but are far more irritating to the user.

Persistence: Finding out the path to access the fare information and the address of a station is a one time problem, but the other problems are persistent between all the uses of the application.

Bart Map


Violation: The differing color of the background across various views.

Rule: Aesthetic and Minimalist Design/Consistency and Standards

Why: The background color switches between the typical blue of an iPhone application and a plain black screen. This causes the user to wonder if the application was poorly made and if this application is the combination of two different applications.

Severity: 1

Frequency: Every other tab is a different background color from the previous tab.

Impact: It does not hinder the user, even if it leaves a bad impression of the application.

Persistence: It is very easy to overcome and is just a cosmetology problem.

Bart Guide


Violation: The name of the Bart Guide tab

Rule: Match between the system and the real world

Why: The name of the tab does not imply that it will contain a tutorial of how to buy a bart ticket. Instead, the fact that the tab is named the same as the application itself seems to indicate that some type of credits page will ensue. The name should reflect the fact that this tab contains a tutorial so that new users immediately know where to go.

Severity: 2

Frequency: It occurs frequently because the tabs are constantly present and the name stays constant.

Impact: I think this problem will be difficult to overcome because users will refrain from clicking on this tab if they don't think it will contain helpful information so it is unlikely casual users will figure out what the tab is for.

Persistence: However, this is a one-time problem which is immediately rectified once the users click on the tab.


Image:image_scheduler.jpg Image:image_scheduler2.jpg

Violation: The name of the tab, the look of the table, and the current selected station

Rule: Match between system and the real world / Recognition rather than recall / Aesthetic and minimalist design

Why: The name of the tab "Schedule" does not reveal much of what the tab will do. This is especially true since the first view presented when the tab is selected prompts the user to select stations and an approximate departure time, rather than present the schedule of trains. The look of the table and the table cell once the second view is accessed is an aesthetic problem. Users are used to being able to select cells within a table view that looks like this one and are immediately confused if they can select the timings presented. This leads the user to wonder what exactly will happen if the table cell is selected and what the application will present. The final and most important problem with this view is the recall rather than recognition factor concerning the currently selected station. The name of the station is not displayed anywhere and only the destinations of trains departing the station is displayed.

Severity: 3

Frequency: The schedule tab will be constantly accessed and updated so these minor problems will become major due to the frequency of access.

Impact: Other than the problem concerning the currently selected station, the problems do not cause a huge impact on the users. The problem concerning the currently selected station will cause the user to switch back and forth between the first and second view in this tab so will definitely have a larger impact on the user.

Persistence: The aesthetic and language problems are one-time problems, while the recall problem will bother the user multiple times within one use of the application.

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