Meeting Minutes


March 4, 2003: Team Meeting
Scribe: Lisa J. Stedge
Facilitator: Marcella Simon
Attendees: Steve Arrington, Peter Huffer, Rob Parrott, Marcella Simon, Lisa J. Stedge, and Karen Zolkiewicz
Absentees: None


  • Marcella held "just for fun" "Usability Awards." Steve won for "getting subjects." Lisa won, too, for "playing 3 roles" on a test session.

  • General review of "lessons learned" and "surprises" from Usability Tests. Some of the highlights, quoted loosely, are as follows:

    Peter: It's important to watch subjects.... A "search" function is needed.

    Lisa: One child would prefer to learn reading from a computer than from a person.

    Karen: The general extent of the problems found.

    Rob: No one seemed to use the three things on the top of the page, such as "Site Index," etc.

    Peter: There was "banner blindness," where subjects didn't seem to look at anything above the menu bar.

    All: Menu buttons (navigation) were not very clear to subjects.

    Rob: The bar with the information at the bottom of the screen would make sense, if the user already used the site...but it doesn't make so much sense the first time the user sees it.

    Peter: How about using "cookies" to track who is on the LAO site?

    Steve: Why is there a password for the student?

    Rob: There are a lot of grammar mistakes on the LAO site.... Password is visible on one of the screens, and this could become a privacy issue.

    Steve: Tone of wording on the site is inconsistent. Either playful of serious tone should be adopted, but not both.

    Rob: LAO site is not "sharp" or "clean."

    Steve & All: More graphics and less words are desirable for the Site Tour.

    Rob: Screen captures for the Site Tour could be helpful.

    Marcella: Remember that we need parallel text descriptions for blind people, if we use screen captures in the Site Tour.

    Steve: Technical help should be offered with such tasks as "Read from the Web" and "Insert Photos." "Insert Photos" doesn't work well. What if people aren't on their home computer? How comfortable will they be in saving images to the computer they are using?

    Steve & Marcella: Maybe some description as to how to add images should be added to the LAO site.

    Rob: How do we bridge the gap between having the LAO site be totally intuitive and offering some help where it may be needed?

    All: We need to ultimately decide what we're going to redesign/design.

    Lisa: I think we should compare our goals, which we already wrote, with the evidence we've gathered from Usability Testing. Where they match is probably where we should concentrate, for now, unless something really big and new is revealed from the Usability Tests.

    Karen: (Cited Rubin textbook for focus and help with Usability Testing.) If we can include dry run tests, then we probably have enough information.

    Steve: I would like to get 1 or 2 more people for Usability Tests.

    Rob: We can get 1 more single user from Liz.

    All: Maybe we should get another dyad, too.

    Lisa: If we get moving, we could finish Usability Testing and its final report by this Friday. Then we would be "on track."

    Karen: I think we can start the final Usability Testing Report and continue Usability Tests at the same time.

  • Next, we discussed the process for reviewing and reporting our Usability Test results (data). Some of the highlights, quoted loosely, are as follows:

    Karen: The note taker for each Usability Test session could summarize findings from their test.

    Rob: We should summarize the answers for all of the Usability Test questions.

    Peter: Some quantitative proof from Likert scales, etc., would be good. (Peter opened his Usability Testing "Problem Statements" document on the PC and we reviewed it to see if it was how we wanted to compiled our test data.)

    Lisa: Summarizing our test notes would be unbiased. Fitting our notes into the nine "Problem Statements" could be biased.

    Marcella: Let's organize our notes per test task, and then organize our notes per the nine "Problem Statements."

    All: We will keep the Usability Test videos on DVC tapes and try to gather our receipts. We might want to try to get reimbursed for them.

    Rob: I will check with Brenda Bannan-Ritland about reimbursement for the video tapes.

    All: Make sure your observation notes are "by test task." (We reviewed the various ways the Usability Test Note Takers took notes.)

    Karen: We should determine how long it took the subjects to complete each test task.

    Marcella: Do we need a template? Consistency is important.

    All: Original Note Takers should review their notes and clean them up. Then, they should use the "Problem Statements." (Marcella and the team began designing a template for us to use. Marcella will e-mail us the final template, right away, today.)

  • Next, we discussed due dates for Usability Test Note Clean-Up, and we decided the two-person sub-team who will ultimately compile the Usability Test data will consist of Karen Zolkiewicz and Marcella Simon.
  • Steve raised the fact we should always include the date and time in the names of our files, because otherwise, there can be much confusion in e-mailing edited documents back and forth to each other. Lisa agreed, and said that she had been renaming everyone's files, in order to avoid this confusion. All agreed, from now, on, we will always include the date and time in the names of our files.

  • Another "lesson learned" by all was that we should have used a template for our Usability Test note taking. Any future Usability Test note takers should use a template.

  • Steve will contact Liz, in order to get us one more single user test.

  • All decided we should try to get one more dyad. Marcella was considering using her daughter and her relatives. Peter was considering using his neighbors.


  • Rob will check with Brenda Bannan-Ritland about video tape reimbursement.

  • Each Usability Test Note Taker will clean-up their notes, figure out pertinent task times, and input the "clean" data, as per the "Problem Statements," into Marcella's soon-to-come template. Filled-in templates are due to Marcella and Karen by no later than 1:30pm on Thursday, March 6, 2003. If filled-in templates are completed sooner than this due date and time, the templates should be sent sooner to Marcella and Karen.

  • Marcella and Karen will compile all Usability Test Data into a final report. They will try to have this done by Friday, March 7, 2003, if possible.

  • Each team member will always include the date and time in the names of their document files.

  • Peter will try to get in touch with his neighbors, regarding possibly using them as a Dyad Usability Test.

  • Marcella will consider using her daughter and her relatives as a Dyad Usability Test.

  • Steve will contact Liz, in order to see if he can get us one more Single User Usability Test.

NEXT MEETING -- Thursday, March 6, 2003 at 2:00pm, in the Commerce PC Lab:

  • Usability Testing: raw data organization, organization of report, timeline for completion of testing
  • Personas
  • LAO meeting times and schedule
  • Other issues
  • Project manager items
  • Web committee update