Article content

6 | TASK FLOW WISHLIST

POSTPONED to March 2018

To be completed the week of January 22, 2017.

ACTIVITY SIX | TASK FLOW WISHLIST | GENERATIVE

USER-CENTERED DESIGN ACTIVITY

STAR OF WONDER: TASK FLOW WISHLIST

GENERAL IDEA

After reviewing a provided Task Flow for determining star brightness in Afterglow, participants will work in groups to create a “wish list” of alternatives for completing or bypassing steps. In this way, the students will begin to build their dream version of Afterglow.

BACKGROUND

A Task Flow breaks down all the steps to accomplish a particular task. The diagram typically includes the following for each step: name, description, call to action (what indicates to the user how they should complete this step and move forward in the task flow), confirmation (what indicates that the action or step has been completed). This mapping can also document points of user frustration and joy. Once these actions are clearly mapped out, participants can, in addition, use a task flow to envision multiple alternative means of completing or bypassing the steps (wish lists), thereby reimagining the overall experience.

LENGTH OF ACTIVITY

Brief 15 minute homework assignment prior to class. 30-45 minute activity in class.

MATERIALS NEEDED

Measuring Star Brightness Task Flow Handout

Large print or digital version of the Brightness Task Flow (so that all the student ideas can be combined in one Task Flow toward the end of the exercise)

TEACHER PREPARATION

Assign indicated homework prior to activity. Instructors should complete the homework, as well, so that they understand the task and experience.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Students learn to break down tasks into discrete steps (helpful for understanding procedural thinking for computation)

Students gain a basic understanding of the structure of a task flow and its role in the UCD process.

PREP HOMEWORK INSTRUCTIONS: PRIOR TO ACTIVITY

Instructor introduces the concept of a Task Flow and walks students through the Measuring Star Brightness Task Flow. (5 min)

Instructor asks students to use Afterglow at home to complete the steps indicated on the photometry task flow. Students should take notes about their experience. Was there anything frustrating about the experience? Did they enjoy any aspect of it? Bring these notes to class the next day for use in the activity.

ACTIVITY INSTRUCTIONS

Instructor divides students into small groups of 2-4 and then hands out a Task Flow to each group. (3-5 min)

Instructor asks each group to discuss the Task Flow among themselves, compare notes about their own experiences completing the task, and then come up with ideas for improving or replacing the existing steps. In other words, each group should question how the means of completing each step could become accessible and enjoyable for BVI users. Instructor shares the following examples of how a few of the steps could be improved: Step 1: Make the login work in Firefox, a more accessible browser; Step 4: Don’t use a table because a screenreader can’t read a table; Step Three: Software should verbally indicate when the table is brought up). Instructors should encourage students to consider what “they wish Afterglow could do” rather than small tweaks to the existing system. In other words, think big. (10 min)

Once each group completes the ideation/documentation process, the instructor asks the groups, assisting as needed, to add their ideas to one large Task Flow at the front of the room. In this way the instructor and students can identify which ideas overlap and which ideas are more unique. (5 min)
Instructor reads some of the ideas to the students, concentrating on the more unique, less obvious ideas. Instructor asks some of the groups to explain their ideas and then garners feedback on those ideas from the rest of the class. (10 min)

ENGAGEMENT QUESTIONS FOR FINAL DISCUSSION

Which ideas do you feel would have the most positive impact on the BVI user experience? Why or why not?

If you could change anything about the Afterglow interface, what would it be? Please explain.

DATA COLLECTION

Document each group’s response, as well as the composite Photometry Task Flow with wishes attached. Share these responses back to the IDATA team.

FOR FURTHER EXPLORATION (optional)

Once this exercise is completed, consider how some of the ideas could be used to improve other tasks that are completed as part of Afterglow Access. In other words, what ideas could be used throughout Afterglow to improve the experience? Be sure to document your thoughts so that they can be shared with the IDATA team.

—————-

PHOTOMETRY TASK FLOW HANDOUT AND HOMEWORK INSTRUCTION STUDENTS

The following Task Flow moves you through all the steps needed to measure Photometry in Afterglow. Complete the homework exercise by moving through each of these steps on your own using Afterglow.

Pay close attention to your experience. Add notes in the Task Flow Handout about your experience for each step. Were you easily able to complete the step? If not, what stood in your way? What frustrated you? Did you enjoy anything about completing this step? Please explain.

STEP ONE

Step name: Login

Step description: Enter Afterglow using your credentials

Call to action: Cursor blinking in space for username & password

Confirmation: If password and username are correct, you enter Afterglow when you push enter.

Your notes about this experience:

STEP TWO

Step name: Open Image

Step description: Open image so that you can analyze it

Call to action: A link in the “File” menu

Confirmation: Pop-up window appears with a list of saved images. When you select an image, the image pops up.

Your notes about this experience:

STEP THREE

Step name: Pull up Photometry sources

Step description: Find Photometry variables

Call to action: Icon

Confirmation: Table pops up.

Your notes about this experience:

STEP FOUR

Step name: Identify Magnitude

Step description: ID Magnitude of image

Call to action: None

Confirmation: Language on on table

Your notes about this experience:

Student Instructions for Classroom Task Flow Activity:

Working in small groups, compare and discuss your Task Flow homework notes. Then come up with ideas for improving each step. In other words, what do you wish would happen when you reach Step One and begin to login? How could you rethink that step to make it accessible and/or enjoyable for BVI users? If you feel that some of the steps are unnecessary, feel free to bypass them, as long as you replace them with something better.

Document your ideas for alternatives in Google Docs Handout. Include a brief explanation of why each new idea is preferable to the existing means of completing a step or steps. Consider what you wish Afterglow could do to help you measure star brightness rather than just small tweaks to the existing system. In other words, have fun and think big. (10 min)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *