Showing posts with label experience. Show all posts
Showing posts with label experience. Show all posts

Monday, January 28, 2013

Google Sky Map (Android application)

In this review, Google Sky Map.   Sky Map turns your Android-powered device into a window on the night sky.

Google Sky Map


PERSONA - Victor's persona, goals, and scenario on Google Drive

Victor Dimitry - “Timing is everything.”

Victor Dimitry wearing a suit and crouched in sprint position
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at
About Victor
  • 35 - Male
  • College graduate
  • Full-time desk job
  • Lives in mid-west
  • Amateur Photographer

Typical Mobile Tasks
  • Text/SMS
  • Tweet
  • Facebook
  • Web search
  • Instagram
  • E-mail
  • Calls
  • Music/Audio books

Reluctantly, Victor broke down and purchased a digital SLR camera to replace his 35mm film camera because the only 1 hour photo in town is closing, and he doesn’t have the patience to wait for normal processing. With his new digital camera, the results are visible within seconds and at zero cost for film developing, Victor has been experimenting with different photographic techniques and one technique he has been anxious to try is a long exposure of the night sky with the camera pointed at the north star. His previous long exposure attempts with the film camera showed the stars streaking but the camera was not pointed at the North star.


Victor and Google Sky Map
When Victor heard about Google Sky Map for Android, he downloaded it immediately.


  • Find the North Star


  • Point his camera at it to take long exposure photographs


Eight Criteria for Hand-held Evaluation (full version)
          • ENVIRONMENT
            • THUMBABILITY (full version)
                • SERVICE INTEGRATION


                1. ORIENTATION CHANGE - Excellent
                • Entered data retained: N/A
                • Fields positioned logically: N/A
                When trying to locate an object in the night sky the view must remain consistent and logical when the device is viewed in positions other than portrait or landscape. For example, portrait/landscape overhead or when viewing upside-down or behind the head. The view of the sky stays level (accurately) with the horizon regardless of the device orientation, but the text labels on the heavenly bodies will reorient when the device orientation changes by 45 degrees.

                2. BACK FUNCTIONALITY - Excellent
                • Does it go where you think it should? YES
                • How many levels deep? 3
                • Undo/Hide or Close? Close
                The back button operates at the application level closing open dialog boxes and will exit the application without warning.

                3. DATA RETENTION - N/A
                • Re-type values: N/A
                • Re-enter account info: N/A
                Data retention is not necessary since the view of the sky is determined by the device location on the planet and the time of day at that location. Google Sky Map acquires your location from the GPS and uses the time of day to calibrate the displayed view.

                4. WEB 3 CLICK-CONVENIENCE vs TASK SUCCESS - Excellent
                • Mobile 1 or 2 TAPS:
                • Information “chunked” into logical screen blocks or sequential steps:
                • Logical options available on each screen one tap away:
                The tap count is minimal which is excellent. Tapping the sky will briefly display options to show or hide layers for the stars, constellations, planets, and more. The menu button offers additional features such as search and night mode and a tap of the back button dismisses modal dialogs.

                5. ENVIRONMENT - Excellent
                • Indoor/Outdoor:
                • Hot/Cold:
                • Day/Night:
                • Seated/Standing: ✓ Seated/Standing
                The application is designed well for the environment in which it operates.  In addition to the orientation handling, Google Sky Maps offers a "Night Mode" feature which displays the contents of all visible sky layers in red, and dims the overall screen brightness to reduce eye strain when adjusting from the lit display to the night sky.  

                6. THUMBABILIY - Excellent (smaller screens)
                • Other than typing, the application can be operated with one hand:
                The thumability of the application is going to be largely determined by device screen size. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus has a large screen, so thumbability is a stretch, but on smaller devices like the Nexus One, the Google Sky Map is very thumbable.

                7. ACCOUNT INTEGRATION - N/A
                • Log required to post to Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: N/A
                • Seamless: N/A
                Google Sky Maps does not support sharing of any sort, so account integration is not applicable.

                8. SERVICE INTEGRATION - Excellent
                • Service (GPS/BlueTooth/Wi-Fi) options are launched/activated as needed:
                • Seamless: ACTIVATE AND RETURN
                The first time the application is launched, if the device auto-location is disabled, a prompt will display allowing it to be activated. Canceling sets the location to Pisa, tapping OK, provides the opportunity to choose wireless networks, GPS satellites or both when determining location. The first time the application is run, the terms and conditions must be agreed to or the application exits.


                Google Sky Map offers features organized intuitively and the functions are both usable and useful for the usage environment.

                Thursday, November 29, 2012

                Hotel Alarm Clock

                In this review, a hotel alarm clock.


                PERSONA - Alfred's persona, goals and scenario on Google Drive

                Alfred Metic - “Charlie don't surf!”
                Image courtesy of stockimages at

                About Alfred
                • 50's - Male
                • Widower for 3 years after 25 year marriage
                • Two boy's married w/o children
                • Successful Volkswagen salesman
                • Lives on the west coast
                • 12 year old female black lab "Tara" he calls "Tar," short for "Tar Ball"

                Technology Familiarity
                • Multi-line desk phone
                • Windows 7 laptop
                • iPhone/Android/Blackberry
                • Connecting various phones/devices to cars via BlueTooth
                • Twitter
                • E-mail
                • Text Messaging
                • Master of the "Home theater"

                Image courtesy of James Barker at
                When quality 4-Head VCR’s were released in the late 80’s Alfred was the first on his neighborhood to invest in the technology.  As a matter of fact, he was the only person on his block, whose VCR didn’t blink 12:00!  Being a salesman Alfred has to keep up with current trends to better craft his pitches, but the home theater became his bailiwick.  He has always been a movie buff, which has been an excellent topic for conversations and successful sales tool.  He would learn as much about the person as he could up-front then choose an actor or character in a movie similar to the person or their situation and craft his pitch around the customer and the car.  He was given the nickname “The Director” because he was always talking about movies and he performed the same magic on the sales floor that directors perform on the big screen.  Volkswagen was so impressed with his style, the Executive Director of Sales flew Alfred to the VW American Headquarters in Virginia for a meeting...  

                Alfred doesn’t travel much and for the last 12 years, Tara, the families black lab has awoken him every morning to go outside at 6 AM, like clockwork.  She got the name Tara because as a puppy she would sleep curled-up into what looked like little ball of Tar.

                SCENARIO AND GOALS

                Alfred and the hotel alarm clock
                Without Tar, Alfred must rely on a device to wake him up.  He is not concerned since the hotel has an alarm clock and if he can set the time on his VCR, he feels confident he can set the alarm on a clock.

                PRIMARY GOALS:
                • Wake up at 6 AM by an alarm clock, not Tar

                REVIEW CRITERIA

                Criteria for alarming success

                1. CLOCK TIME ADJUSTMENTS
                2. ALERT TIME ADJUSTMENTS
                3. ALERT TYPE
                  • TONE
                  • MUSIC
                4. DISABLE ALERT (off)
                5. POSTPONE ALERT (snooze)


                1. CLOCK TIME ADJUSTMENTS: Unnatural
                The Hour, Minute and Wake buttons felt as if they were positioned for comfort rather than intuition. Most clocks arrange the buttons in the same order as the unit they affect are displayed, so the hour button is on the left and the minute button to the right. On this clock, the minute button is on the left and the hour on the right, making it very easy for right-handers to race through the minutes with rapid repeated taps of the middle finger.

                2. ALERT TIME ADJUSTMENTS: Frustrating
                The clock hour and minute buttons are the same buttons used for the alarm, the only difference is holding the wake button while pressing the hour and minute buttons sets the time for the alarm.  Again, the position caused grief when he decided to change the alarm from 5:55 AM to 5:30 AM.  Expecting the to change the minute, by pressing the button on the right, he advanced the hour.  Alfred had to run through 24 hours to get back to 5 AM after his mistake.

                3. ALERT TYPE: Music - OK
                Choosing the alert type for the alarm was straightforward, selecting the off position was a little tricky.     

                4. POSTPONE ALERT: N/A
                Activated unintentionally by pressing the "Snooze" button while attempting to position the alert type switch to the off position gave the impression the alarm was disabled, when in fact the alarm was only postponed.

                5. DISABLE ALERT: Fail
                Tar sits at the bedroom door once Alfred is awake, so acknowledging Tar is her nose out of his face.  Alfred managed to set the alarm properly but hit snooze and changed the alert position to music, giving the illusion, he turned off the alarm.  Nine minutes later while in the bathroom, it sounded like someone was watching TV in his room.  He opened the bathroom door only to realize it was the clock radio.  He wasn’t sure why it was playing music so he just unplugged it.   


                The position of the hour and minute buttons was awkward at first, but began to feel natural when adjusting the time with the right hand.  Since the hour and minute buttons are not positioned by the order the unit displays, it is all too easy to increment the wrong unit.  Other than the time unit button position, the alarm clock operated as expected and Alfred was successful in accomplishing his goal.