Draft Prototype Evaluation Plan

Posted on: Friday, February 8, 2008

Exercise One: Evaluation Criteria

Mission statement:
Strengthening the relationship between people and the environment by merging urban and natural spaces.

Project overview:
Mini indoor greenhouse used for growing herbs, vegetables and other small plants.

High-level goals/Goals of the interaction:

  •   To grow and monitor plants/herbs/vegetables in a convenient and effective way
  •   To create a heightened sense of awareness regarding the importance of organic foods in one’s lifestyle

Point of Interface/Why it matters:

  • Box: To allow the watering and lighting of the plants in a simple, intuitive manner (single button for each control)
  • Widget: To allow the monitoring of the growth and health of the plants

5 Qualities of Experience: Interactive, satisfying, engaging, smooth, simple

5 Goals of Interaction:
1. Enable user to monitor status of plants digitally(?)
2. Allow user to control lighting and watering of plants
3. Simplify plant care indoors
4. Create a give and take relationship between users and their plants
5. Easy access to organically grown vegetables and herbs

Ways our interface enables those experiences and qualities to be created in a functional way directly related to the interface and interaction:
1. create direct access to the status of my plant
2. constant update of box temperature and humidity
3. alert the user when water or temperature levels are too low

Participant Assumption

  • familiarity with using computers
  • familiar with the concept and use of widgets

Exercise Two: Prototype Usability Concerns

Our interface is primarily about ease in monitoring the status
of your plant while the physical prototype will function as a mini greenhouse to house plants, herbs or vegetables within your home.

// Is the widget fully functional?
// Is the use of widgets ideal for the task of monitoring?
// Are the icons and labeling used clear enough to understand?
// Is the interface visually appealing? Does it meet the user’s expectation?
// Is the user able to water the plant?
// is the user able to manipulate the lighting?
// Is the user’s experience with the interaction similar to that of typical gardening? Is the work required for maintenance simplified enough?
// Is the product visually appealing? (shape, size, material) Does it meet the user’s expectation?

Goals and Expectations: (Participants will be able to…)
// Understand the function of the widget
// Recognize what the labels and icons represent
// Immediately identify the status of the plant
// Will give high evaluating points to the aesthetics and experience of the interface
// Water the plant
// Manipulate the lighting inside the box
// Have an enjoyable and more simplified interaction with the plant
// Will give high evaluating points to the aesthetics and experience of the physical prototype

Exercise Three: Evaluation Method

We will be using a combination of methods for the evaluation of our physical and interface prototype. A realistic scenario will be introduced to set up the do-it-yourself walkthrough. The participants will be given a task to monitor the status of their plant using the widget for our prototype test. From the information gained from the widget, the user will be asked to manipulate the physical box prototype either by manipulating the lighting or by watering the plant. Group members who will be taking down notes will observe this process.
After the test, a one-on-one interview will be conducted. Participants will be asked questions regarding the functionality and experience of using the interface and physical prototype. Suggestions for improvements are welcome.

Exercise Four: Data Collection Methodology

• Ease and speed of learning functionality
• Differentiating between the clickable and non-clickable buttons
• Understanding how to use the calendar
• Quality and number of responses regarding: visual aesthetics, navigation, form
• Number of errors they encountered

• Ease of learning functionality
• Refilling/releasing water
• On/off lighting
• Inserting/removing plantlife (access/door)
• Quality and number of responses regarding: aesthetics, form, usability
• Average amount of time to complete each task (because, you know, our users are busy young professionals and they’d need to finish tasks quickly, for sure)
• Portability
• Ease of grabbing and carrying

Exercise Five: Deliverables

The results of the usability test will be presented through an in-depth evaluation report of the process in which we will be able to pinpoint our observations accompanied with photos. This will help us formulate recommendations to apply certain changes to the design and continue to develop our product a step further.