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Human Computer Interaction Essay

The visibility of a product or service is enabled using the internet technologies and primarily the websites. The design and look and feel are the prime aspects which make sure that all the various objectives are accomplished to a large length. The focussed features of a website make sure that all the aims are quite distinguishable for making an impact. A critical appraisal of Tesco and Asda website was conducted providing a benchmark for our client. The sites key characteristics were identified; it was found many were inter-related.

Design for instance demonstrably fitted context of use, considered crucial to online success. It was found usability is an important concept, successfully related to navigation, content and layout. This is identified in the body of the report and in the Heuristic Evaluation, observation, questionnaires and Cognitive Walkthrough. Asda can be easily found as below: http://www. asda. co. uk/corp/home. html Tesco can be easily found as follows: http://www. tesco. com/ Evaluation criteria:

The foremost criteria for taking up this effort are to find out the best possible distinguishable feature among them. Faulkner (1997) mentions that quite a lot of intractability and comfortableness can be achieved if one can locate the items they are searching for

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quite distinguishably. The maximum benefits can be derived from the investigation of the following aspects: • System appeal • Usability • Learn ability • Acceptability • Efficiency Figure 1: Asda. com FrontPage Figure 2: Tesco. com Website FrontPage Evaluation techniques:

The evaluation of the various criteria’s laid above the following evaluation techniques would be taken into understanding for the exact catering of the scenarios and the very derivation of the correct methodology and techniques for making the right impact. Plaisant (2005) and Horton (2005) claims that various use of methods make sure that all the penetrations are evolved quite well and must be there for the derivation of various attitudes. The following are the various methodologies that are accounted for serving the various interests:

• Heuristic evaluation: This method as informal in nature as the usability analysis would rest in the hands of evaluators at the interface design only. (Nielsen & Molich, 1990). The various rules used are often not at the knowledge of the evaluators and the decision is often clouded with prejudices and biasness. One can briefly go through every heuristic so that everyone is familiar with them. • Observation: This method of data collection is quite realistic in the sense that it is observed as to how one feels and takes the system features.

The very actions and behavior are noted and the data analyses are done with respect to various usability and functionality. The various disadvantages are the influence of the observer on the user as she may temp to act in a fair manner to accomplish something which would have been done differently. • Questionnaires: This method of data collection would make sure that all the various options which are exposed to the users are already known to the evaluator which makes the game more justifiable. They are best at capturing the right answer to make future predictions and conclusions.

The primary advantage is the catering of the similar questions to all the users so that a benchmark is maintained for fetching the right answers. The demerit of this method is the various alignments of self aims with the questionnaire pattern that requires to be dealt personally and not professionally. • Cognitive walk-through: It is a group activity which involves one or a group of tasks which are performed by a set of evaluators to inspect the tasks and evaluate its understanding. The primary merit is the peer reviewing and group activity to reduce any discrepancies in approach. The exploration of the various features is done at will.

It’s definitely time and effort depletion in approach. Hobbs and Moore (1998) mention that the involvement of various evaluation techniques and selecting the best one depends on a large amount of practice in situations and practice. Our team would develop a set of guidelines by Tahir and Nielson (2005) for fetching the right standards for developing the websites and to make the right effort for setting up things. The rule book for heuristic evaluation is taken into account and made sure that all the various rules are judged and evaluated to its strictest sense for fetching the right approach to evaluate both the websites.

HEURISTIC EVALUATION Applying Nielsen’s Ten Usability Heuristic’s to Tesco. com Heuristic – Visibility of system status. Tesco keep users informed of their location on the site. It is its biggest advantage. However the breadcrumbs are quite little in number. Figure 3: navigation location Heuristic – Match between system and real world. Tesco speaks the user’s language “Basket” is simple and commonly used term you would expect from the user. Tesco use shopping technology for example shopping carts and checkouts act as reminders of physical conventions.

It has been proven this technology will tap into users pre-existing habits, which are to purchase more in a location they are comfortable. “Users want simplicity and consistency” (Lynch and Horton, 2002. ) Tesco use tab based navigation. According to (Nielsen, 1999) “horizontal tabs across the top of the screen, show bad design and an abuse of the tab metaphor” this should be avoided. Figure 4: Basket options Heuristic – User control and freedom The Tesco logo offers users an option to return to the homepage. Breadcrumbs or the back button will provide an option to return in their path.

Figure 5: main logo usage Heuristic – Consistency & Standards Hyperlinks are consistently displayed to the left of the screen and layout complies with standard HTML conventions. Hyperlinks follow standard HTML conventions; they are blue and underlined providing clarity to the user. Links are self-describing and adhere to the heuristic guideline speak the users language. Tesco maximize information scent with category/genre links that adequately describe content. Tesco’s search box is an excellent navigational tool for experienced users searching by titles or artists.

The back button provides user control and freedom whilst their logo is consistently displayed allowing return to the homepage. Heuristic – Error prevention Tesco provides users with the most popular matches to the users search. This is a constructive solution designed to improve usability. Tesco makes assumptions for user errors. Spelling errors in search fields provide the most popular matches, suggesting a constructive solution. Such careful design helps users recognize, diagnose and recover from errors. Heuristic – Recognition rather than recall

Tesco has an animated demo and help section to guide users on the site. An A9 search is designed to remember information for users. Heuristic – Flexibility & Efficiency of use Tesco’s site loading speed is very efficient as graphics are kept simple. Heuristic – Aesthetic and minimalist design Information is kept relevant to users needs. Tesco further avoids chunking information which will prevent good usability. Heuristic – Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors Tesco use plain language “Suggestions? ” and “where is my order?

” to simplify an error made by the user and offer a suggested solution to them. Tesco positions their website as a virtual store. It strengthens this association with visual symbols such as “shopping carts” and instructions to “proceed to check-out” which are reminders of physical store environments, “providing familiarity to customers. ” (Weick, 1995. ) These would be approved by Nielsen (1999) as they provide a “Match between system and the real world. ” Tesco avoids technical language and speaks user language, as recommended by Nielsen (1999). Figure 6: errors Heuristic – Help and documentation

As mentioned Tesco provides a help section and an animated demo which is available to all users as frequently as they require it. The site map feature makes sure that all the various features of the sites are locatable. The name “help pages” make sure that all the FAQs are found there. Figure 7: help COGNITIVE WALKTHROUGH In this test we will attempt to search for Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed by Jakob Nielsen & Marie Tahir. User: The user will most likely be a student requiring the book to help them in their studies or for those users generally interested in Internet Technology.

Tasks: We are concerned with the quickest approach to find the book from entering Tesco’s homepage. Tesco offers three approaches to find this book. They are tab based navigation, text hyperlinks in the browse box and a search engine. Action sequence: Option 1 -tab navigation: Place cursor over “click here all 7 available”, double click on “books” link, double click “Computers and Internet” in the left hand browse box, double click web development hyperlink, double click website design, book is displayed in recommended list. The breadcrumbs for this search were:

You are in: Books Home Page > Food & Drink (6,183 items) Option 2 – It was found that the text hyperlinks followed the same stages as the tab navigation. This was a time consuming process. Option 3 – Search engine: The search engine was the most efficient method. The user simply has to type the author names in the search box e. g. Nielsen & Tahir and the product is displayed. Alternatively the user can input the title of the book which will yield the same results. Figure 8: search results Interface: Tesco displays breadcrumbs, page titles and graphics so that the user is aware of their location within the site.

The most efficient method to find this book was to use the search box provided. We believe more experienced users will take advantage of this method. The animated demo for new users shows the different search methods available. We suspect many users will recognize that this is the best action to take if they wish to progress efficiently on the site. Applying Nielsen’s Ten Usability Heuristic’s to Asda. com Heuristic – Visibility of system status. Asda keep users informed of their location on the site through the use of page titles and breadcrumbs.

Feedback is efficient if an error is made by a user and popular alternatives are provided. The following is the related screenshot: Figure 9: Breadcrumbs Heuristic – Match between system and real world. Asda speaks the users language “How to order? ” is simple and commonly used term you would expect from the user. Asda use shopping technology for example shopping carts and checkouts act as reminders of physical conventions. It has been proven this technology will tap into users pre-existing habits, which are to purchase more in a location they are comfortable. Figure 10: how to order

Heuristic – User control and freedom The Asda logo offers users an option to return to the homepage. Breadcrumbs or the back button will provide an option to return in their path. Heuristic – Consistency & Standards Hyperlinks are consistently displayed to the left of the screen and layout complies with standard HTML conventions. Heuristic – Error prevention Asda provides users with the most popular matches to the users search. This is a constructive solution designed to improve usability. Heuristic – Recognition rather than recall Asda has an animated demo and help section to guide users on the site.

An A9 search is designed to remember information for users. Heuristic – Flexibility & Efficiency of use Asda’s site loading speed is very efficient as graphics are kept simple. Heuristic – Aesthetic and minimalist design Information is kept relevant to users needs. Asda further avoids chunking information which will prevent good usability. Heuristic – Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors Asda use plain language “Sorry no results found” to simplify an error made by the user and offer a suggested solution to them. Heuristic – Help and documentation

As mentioned Asda provides a help section and an animated demo which is available to all users as frequently as they require it. Figure 11: help pages COGNITIVE WALKTHROUGH The following are the various attributes for this method: User: The user will most likely be a student requiring the book to help them in their studies or for those users generally interested in Internet Technology. Tasks: We are concerned with the quickest approach to find the book from entering Asda’s homepage. Asda offers three approaches to find this book. They are tab based navigation, text hyperlinks in the browse box and a search engine.

Action sequence: Option 1 -tab navigation: Place cursor over Tab labeled “see all 31 product categories”, double click on “books” link, double click “Computers and Internet” in the left hand browse box, double click web development hyperlink, double click website design, book is displayed in recommended list. The breadcrumbs for this search were: Figure 12: Asda breadcrumbs Figure 13: Search option Option 2 – It was found that the text hyperlinks followed the same stages as the tab navigation. This was a time consuming process. Option 3 – Search engine: The search engine was the most efficient method.

The user simply has to type the author names in the search box e. g. Nielsen & Tahir and the product is displayed. Alternatively the user can input the title of the book which will yield the same results. Misspelling the authors name will still reveal a constructive solution: e. g. typing nielseen will show: Figure 14: search for “neelson” Interface: Asda displays breadcrumbs, page titles and graphics so that the user is aware of their location within the site. Tasks set for the website: The tasks designed for the website are as follows: TASK 1: Find the “Terms and Conditions” of the website.

TASK 2: How to enhance the usability of the website? (With respect to text, colors, etc) TASK 3: Check out the latest DVD collection and purchase one. TASK 4: Check out the HELP button for phone support TASK 5: Search for book title named “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” Participants: P1: Purnima Kar (Observer) P2: Rachel Susana (Observer) P3: Koala Baksi (Observer) P4: Ronald Shaw (Observer) P5: Steve McMahon (Observer) Tasks performed by the participants: Website – Tesco 1. Volunteer searches through google for website 2. In minutes volunteer complete task 1 3. Starts task 2 4.

For a while it was little difficult to figure out things 5. Stayed on same page for a very period of time 6. Finally was able to complete task 7. Starts task 3 8. This time browsing same page for while 9. Took time to locate the correct link and completed task 10. Starts Task 4 and finish it 11. Starts Task 5 and finish it Website – Asda 1. Volunteer uses google to search for website 2. Went through three pages and was able to complete the task 3. Starts task 2 4. Finds the page and completes task2 5. Starts task 3 6. Searched through 2 pages and completes task 3 7. Starts Task 4 and finish it 8. Starts Task 5 and finish it

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