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Human-use Analysis Reviews
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Emily Hsu
she wolf
[review]

 Analysis RatingsPresentation Ratings
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Reviewer 1:
Reviewer 2:
Reviewer 3:
Reviewer 4:
1-marginal     2-ok    3-good     4-very good    5-outstanding

Quality and thoroughness of human-use analysis and improvement suggestions

Reviewer 1:

The user experience analysis motivates the investment in good design for the MBTA fare vending machine and thoroughly explains the requirements and design challenges. Emily does a great job at breaking down the activities performed at the vending machine, developing a list of priorities for functionality and proposing a revised design that reflects the workflow and priorities. I think that the site would benefit from a more detailed explanation of the steps required to perform a couple of the activities. This could be accomplished by adding a description of the actions taking place in each of the images within the Screen Navigation Section. Enlarged images, that allow the reader to evidence the ambiguity of the current design would also help convey the challenges of the current system. It would also be beneficial to "test" the suggested improvements with the reference activities. Particularly in the Screen Navigation section I was left wondering how the improvement extends beyond the grouping of tasks for the firs screen. It seems that a lot of the value of the redesigned screen would be from reducing the steps required to complete the activity, so those should be provided as well.

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Reviewer 2:

Of all analysis reports I have read, this is the most thorough one - and it even made me realize new things about the machines that until reading this I thought I was very familiar with. For instance, I found it very surprising to see that there were so many other components on the machines that I never actively realized were there. The questions posed at the end of the page are very apt, and indicative that the analysis was well thought out. The review describes the challenges and difficulties users face with the current design, which is excellent. Another interesting perspective I find is that text is the primary means by which one can identify which element of the machine is for what purpose, and a redesign that makes the use obvious without text is a clever solution. I like the picture with the labels for each component of the machine. Since, I only use credit card, I never paid attention to the rest of the machine, and after looking at this picture, I find it very surprising to see that there were so many other components that I never actively realized were there. The questions posed at the end of the page are very apt, and indicative that the analysis was well thought out. The review describes the challenges and difficulties users face with the current design, which is excellent. Another interesting perspective I find is that text is the primary means by which one can identify which element of the machine is for what purpose, and a redesign that makes the use obvious without text is a clever solution. The improved design, however, may still not be ideal because people who don't already have a ticket/card would be starting at step 2 rather than 1. So perhaps the payment option should be on the same level as the card scanning option. Another suggestion is a redesign where there are no visible slots at all. When the user chooses what they want to do, only then a slot for the appropriate action is revealed. Then for the next step, a new slot is reveled. In this way, only the absolute minimum information is shown to the user.

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Reviewer 3:

Analyzing the MBTA fare vending machine contains interesting information about the T's usage and well thought out suggestions for improvement.

1. It also has a few quotes from other users, though quotes from more users specifically addressing what they want changed or what they find confusing or frustrating could help strengthen the argument of the proposed revisions.

2. The site also contains a list of prioritized needs, which intrigue the reader and make them question what functions of the machine are the most important. As the reader questions this, they may want to know how the list of prioritized needs was created - was it on the MTBA's website? Was it from asking people using the machines? Was it from the author's personal perspective? Either way, I think the list could be even stronger with information about how it was created.

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Reviewer 4:

Wow! This is an amazing user experience analysis. The whole site is extremely thorough and informative. I love how detailed the user experience is lined out from start to finish of the whole ticket vending experience. I especially like how you discussed and pointed out all parts of the vending machines- from the money slots, Charlie Card slots, to the screen interface. I also really appreciate the effort you put into taking some really great quality photos, it really helped me remember my own Charlie Card vending experience. The photo in particular of the T worker helping those in line use the machines helps to highlight the problems with the system.

I liked how you separated the analysis into "payment" and "screen navigation" because it helped you tackle the design improvement separately. Your new and improved vending machine screen looks much less confusing and much more pleasant to interface with. I liked the clean diagrams of the improved payment system- they convey your ideas very effectively.

Two improvements that I would suggest are 1) it would be really interesting to compare the station you analyzed (Park Street) with a busier station (possibly South Station, which services those outside Boston who commute to work) or a less busy station (Kendall) to see whether there are lines/bottlenecks at fare vending machines, and 2) compare your improved design to the fare vending machines of cities that have very reputable subway systems (eg. London, Hong Kong, Tokyo).

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Clarity and presentation of human-use experience analysis

Reviewer 1:

The use of text, images and sketches is very effective at conveying the information clearly. The color scheme and fonts are consistent and the content resizes appropriately. I enjoyed the quotes superposed on images, which summarized the motivation of the study succinctly employing the voices of system users. I recommend breaking down the Introduction into to sections, one which serves as a description of the system and the motivation of the study, while the other describes the interface and prioritized requirements. Beyond segmenting the information into more digestible sizes, this would improve site navigation.

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Reviewer 2:

The white text above the image at the bottom of page 1 is unreadable, because some components of the image are also white. The text should have been a different color - or better yet it should have been white but which shadows for readability.

At the bottom of the page, there should be a next button rather than a repeat of all the links that are at the top of the page. Instead of "About" it should say "Home".

It would have been clearer if there were some pictures of users trying to insert cash/card/ticket into the slots where they are not supposed to.

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Reviewer 3:

The analysis of the MTBA fare vending machine website is nicely laid out, with easy to read content text, large pictures, and clear drawings of proposed solutions. The first page contains a lot of information, which is not noticed by the reader until the reader has read all of it. As a reader it might be nice to better understand what content is on the first page, as the page title of "About" contains the "About", "Key Needs & User Experience", "Interface Observations" and "Prioritized Needs" sections. The first page seems to cover everything but the proposed solutions which are linked at the bottom.

Each of these key needs is well explained and laid out on it's own page. The key need of payment lines up well as the text says that one of the key needs is payment and the page is titled "Payment". However the "Screen navigation" page is a little less clear as in one place it is called "reloading experience" and in the other it is called screen navigation" could the names/ links be standardized?

One final little note - the text on the pictures looks very appealing, though the image at the bottom of the first page is a little hard to read when the white text overlaps with a white part of the picture. Could the text be outlined in black or changed to a different color to make it more legible?

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Reviewer 4:

This is the most beautiful user analysis site I've seen so far. I love how clean the wide "border-style" photos make the site, I love the simple vertical scroll, the font, the gray body text, and the T logo in the upper left. The site is very pleasing to look at, and the wide "border-style" photos give the site a cohesive theme.

I'd like the top nav bar to be maybe bolded or slightly larger or centered, just so that it is more obvious as a nav bar. The large photo underneath it initially drowns it out so at first it was not clear to me that it was the nav bar.

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