This documentation provides a brief of the effort that has been made towards the capstone project.
A boot-up user testing has been done with paper prototype of this project where the process and apparatus are presented in the form of a series of storyboards. Subjects are carefully selected from Shanghai Fashion Store under the requirement of as little prior experience with computer programming as possible. Subjects are presented with the paper prototype with all text translated to Mandarin Chinese. No additional instruction was given, other than that they should browse the prototype as they wish. Subjects are given as long as they need for the test. After subjects actively concluded their interaction with the prototype, a series of questions were asked to evaluate their response to the proposed design. Questions are as follow.
- Do you feel confident that you have fully, or at least adequately understood the principles this project operates on?
- Do you feel confident that you can continue exploring this project with more code pieces like you have done now?
- Do you feel confident that you can figure out the next step without much effort?
A total of 7 subjects were recruited. 6 valid response was received. One subject expressed much concern for the goal of the project and would rather have a in-depth discussion instead of answering the survey questions. This demand was satisfied, but not included for the analysis. Among the 6 valid response, 5 answered yes to the first question, 4 answered yes to the second question and 3 answered yes to the last question. During the non-compulsory post-survey interview, 4 expressed that they were not able to grasp what should be done next and had to guess.
The result revealed that the ideal of this project had been well delivered. However, the proposed graphic design had left the users too much to wonder. This could lead to unwanted overwhelming of the users and consequently the reluctance of their interaction. This result has called for further continuous user testing regarding the graphic tutorial design later through the production phase.
Production and Progress
The major part of this project consists of implementing such a framework that is capable of loading in an external definition of code pieces and presenting the output of the code pieces to the users real-time. This has been done functionally. This documentation will, however, not discuss the technical detail regarding the design and structuring of the software. What is important is that the framework is now ready to provide a fully-functioning process for interaction, and is able to adapt to devices of different input devices and sizes of screen. It is safe to say that the first milestone of this project has been properly achieved.
As mentioned above, the implementation is only a functional piece. The design of a welcoming visual style has not been engaged in the production so far, hence the graphic interface is, to an extent, intimidating for the unknown. Given the important role visual representation plays in relieving the stress when facing unknown matter, such incompetence may entail serious problems in subsequent user testing, leading to inaccurate response and hence unreliable conclusion from analysis.
For the next milestone, this project seeks to implement a welcoming and inviting if possible, visual style. This has been proven by many research to help with the transition to strange rules and systems. User testing may continue before this milestone is reached, but the subjects will need to be notified of the incompleteness of the visual style and will be instructed to focus on the functionality as the top interest.
For detailed information about the technologies used so far, video or live demonstration, please contact the author directly. They are considered not relevant enough for this documentation and are not included as of now.