wiki:PLATFORM_NFR_USABILITY
Last modified 12 years ago Last modified on 11/03/08 14:19:19

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Sophie2 is very powerful application combining advantages of different software solutions. However it is user-friendly and satisfies needs of both skilled and non-skilled users.

User related

What do users want or need to do?

  • Creating books
  • Creating content
  • Changing content
  • Viewing books

What is the general background of the users?

  • The target group is students and users interested in creating documents with rich media content.

Interaction related

Learnability

How easy is it for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time they encounter the design? How much training do users need? What documentation or other supporting materials are available to help the user? Can users find the solutions they seek in these materials?

  • What are basic tasks - creating a book, reading a book, sharing a book, collaborative editing.
    • Creating, opening and saving books is done in usual way - by using File Menu or Keyboard Shortcuts. Depending on operating system specific abilities will be added - double click, drag n drop a file to program window.
    • By default the program is working online and is connected to a server where the book is stored. Saving a book to a server is easily done. Once Sophie2 is configured, the user can easily edit a book with other people simultaneously.
  • Explanation of terms - glossary. Benefits of using this concept.
    • Sophie2 uses a simple interface concept from user point of view. There are several terms that should be understood, everything is based on these concept. Glossary introduces these terms. These contain:
      • Flap
        • Tab
        • Palette
        • Frame
        • Frame content
        • Chaining
        • Book
        • Page
        • Halo
        • Hud
      The main advantage of this concept is that when the user understands how does this element work, he already knows how does each element of this type do.
  • Tooltips (planned)
    • Tooltips give brief information about an object - control, book element, menu, etc. Sophie2 will have tooltips everywhere possible.
  • Startpage (unplanned, may be startup tips or something else)
    • A startpage or startup tips popup is being discussed as an option to introduce glossary terms to the user.
  • User documentation (we have a pre-alpha of it)
    • The user documentation is extended glossary - it contains detailed information about all of the features included in Sophie2 and different how-tos and examples.
  • Mail list, Forum, wiki.
    • Currently are present a lot of options for getting more information. A user or a developer can subscribe for a mail list (user or developer mail lists), ask questions in our forum, browse the source code, make his own extensions.
  • Are there provisions for meeting the special needs of users with disabilities?
    • Sophie2 will be extended to meet the special needs of users with disabilities in future versions, after it's stable release.

Efficiency

Once users have learnt the design, how quickly can they perform tasks?

  • The developing of products includes a lot of manual testing that ensures the application is efficient enough. Most common tasks will be accessible more easy, but customization of menus and flaps allows the user to arrange them as he finds convinient.

Recall

How much does the person remember afterwards or after periods of non-use?

  • Once familiar with the concept, a non-skilled user will easily return to the interface. Skilled users won't have any problems as similar models are used in a lot of software solutions.

Errors and mistakes

How many errors do users make, how severe are these errors, and how easily can they recover from the errors? What do users have to do to recover from errors? Does the product help users recover from errors? For example, does software present comprehensible, informative, non-threatening error messages?

  • Reporting issues - Program errors are automatically sent to the developers. There are custom fields for detailed description, but they are not required.
  • Undo - As in a lot of applications almost everything can be undone by using Undo. Sophie2 also has book versioning which allows returning a book to previous versions without information loss. Different permissions allow prevention of users to edit, view, save a book.
  • Confirmation dialogs - For most of the actions that allow data loss, there are confirmation dialogs that ask the user for confirmation.

Performance

How much time, and how many steps, are required for people to complete basic tasks?

  • Creating a book - This can be done by using a keyboard shortcut in a step or using the menu. These are standard methods for file creation.
  • Loading a book - This can be done by using a keyboard shortcut and selecting it from the in two steps or using the menu. These are standard methods for file accessing.
  • Sharing a book - Once Sophie2 is set up properly, the book is available at a Sophie2 server and depending on permissions can be accessed by different users.
  • Collaborative editing - Once Sophie2 is set up properly, collaborative editing is done by default and there is no need for additional actions for this.

Emotional response

How does the person feel about the tasks completed? Is the person confident, stressed? How pleasant is it to use the design? Would the user recommend this system to a friend?

  • User interface, extensibility and options.
    • Sophie2 is an application based on plugin architecture. This means most of it's parts can be replaced, changed, extended with other plugins. User interface is skinnable and skins are customizable too. Solutions as base bound controls ease the work and are very convinient.
    • Benefits of open source - the ability to participate with ideas realizations, etc.(community ideas for improvement, skinning). Community is encouraged to give suggestions of improvements as well as realizations for skinning, templates, etc.
  • Rendering solutions.
  • Templates. Templating is one of the most convinient tools when a lot of work should be done. Sophie2 offers great templating options - creating, editing and applying book and page templates.
  • Once learnt the basic, the user is confident in researching more of the features Sophie2 presents and discovers the power of the application.