September 8, 2011
You are lecturing in Higher Education. You are an expert in your subject and in how to teach that subject. But you are not a usability experts-of course not. Nevertheless, you are required to create course pages in your institution’s Virtual Learning Environment for your classes.
If the above applies to you, then we have the solution for you. We developed a Style Guide for lecturers. It is intended as a support for lecturers when creating course pages in Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) such as Moodle or Blackboard. The Style Guide offers a series of solutions of typical problems that can occur when making online materials and learning activities available.
The Style Guide is meant to be a living document. If you have any suggestions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact us or respond to this block post.
The Style Guide was developed in the context of the How do you Moodle? project and was supported by a grant from the National Academy for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL).
Just download the Style Guide and improve the learning experience of your students.
February 4, 2010
Flow- the Think Blog..News and ideas on user experience.. (UK)
Useit.com (US) – is this a blog? but have to mention Nielson!
To name but a few..
Image from: Savickas, Stacy. arrowicon.jpg. September 2007. Pics4Learning. 4 Feb 2010 <http://pics.tech4learning.com>
November 13, 2009
The future of TV is on the Internet?
We are delighted to be undertaking usability research this month with Calom Technology (finalists in Dublin Best Emerging Seedcorn Business Competition ). We will be testing their new web application which streams live TV and provides catch up TV over the Internet; http://ipic.tv
NCI students will be participating as testers of this website in the NELL laboratory. We are excited about gaining more insights into peoples’ behaviour when they view media over the internet and learning more about what they think about the experience.
We will let you know how we get on…
October 5, 2009
Stephan and I are delighted to have been accepted to participate in a new European Funded Network of research and best practice; the COST Initiative.
The aim of the COST Initiative is to reduce the fragmentation in European research investments and opening the European Research Area to cooperation worldwide.
Researchers from NELL will be joining the IC0904 Network called ‘Towards the Integration of Transectorial IT Design and Evaluation’. The Priniciple aim of this Action is to harmonise research and practice on design and evaluation methodologies for computing artefacts, across sectors and disciplines.
This Network currently has members from 20 other European countries and is growing.
We see participation in COST Network as exiting opportunity to share research and learn more about what other members in the network are currently investigating in the area of design and evaluation metrics of usability and user experience, particularly in e-learning applications.
We would also look at participation in the Network as opportunity to encourage mobility and exchange of research students, faculty and staff between different research centres and to collaborate on scientific research and publications.
The first meeting of the Management committee of this Network will meet in Nov 09, so watch this space…
September 10, 2009
Get €5K to work with NCI and undertake usability testing of your web-based application..
Enterprise Ireland have just announced another funding call for the Innovation voucher Initiative.
The aim of this Initiative is allow small companies to develop business ideas and oportunties and to forge links with third level providers.
Go to Projects to see how other small companies have taken advantage of this funding to work with NCI.
Need help with the application? Call Abi on 01 4498664
September 2, 2009
My colleague Dr Stephan Weibelzahl and I are pleased to be part of the upcoming usability workshop entitled ‘Experience, Usability, and Functionality: Exploring the components of interaction. This workshop is organised by Dr Jurek Kirakowski from UCC and his colleagues and will form part of two day HCI conference 17-18th September in Trinity College, Dublin.
The aim of this workshop is to discuss McNamara and Kirakowski’s (2007) recently proposed three factor model for understanding and describing the interactions between humans and technology. They contend there are three areas of importance when exploring this relationship: experience, usability and functionality.
During this workshop we will be presenting our first experience of usability testing and will discuss how any of lessons we learned might relate to this model. In particular, we are interested in exploring how and what subjective measures of ‘user experience’ might relate to e-learning.
Register on-line for the conference.
July 16, 2009
Enterprise Ireland issued a funding call for Innovation Vouchers last Monday – July 13. This was for a limited number of Vouchers, 75 to be exact and applications were to be processed on a first come, first served basis. As they received over 100 applications in first three days, this call is now closed….
Miss the deadline?? Dont worry
…. More vouchers due for release September 1…
July 1, 2009
Our latest study at NELL, carried out on behalf of Mulley Communications, analysed what users looked at when presented with the results page of a Google Search.
Entitled How do you Google? An Eye-tracking study investigating users search behaviour using Google Search, the report showed, among other things that females view results in a more linear manner than males.. a finding that is somewhat contrary to similar studies recently conducted in the US.
Twenty seven people, ranging in age and gender took part in the in this study, which used SMI Be-gaze eye-tracking technology.
Heatmap video showing what users looked at on Google search page. Aggreated across all users.
Other important findings show that users focused on the top three results only, most of them ignored the sponsored link on the right-hand side of the results page and that many people use Google search instead of typing a website address into the browser. Findings that have important implications for businesses who want to market and advertise on-line.
Speaking about the report, Damien Mulley from Mulley Communications commented: “This was the first time a survey of this type was done in Ireland. It shows that not only is getting found by search engines vital for business online but in order to get credible traffic to your website or service, you need to be found at the very top of results”.
Main trends that emerged from the data:
- The first thing that 70% of users looked at in the results page was the first result presented.
- However, users paid more attention relatively, to the highest ranking result rather than sponsored links at the top of the page.
- Most users ignored the sponsored link on right-hand side of the results page.
- The participants’ main attention was focused on the top three results only.
- The further down the result was presented on the page, the less likely the user was to look at it.
- If users did look beyond the first three results, then it is likely they would explore the bottom of the page also.
- If the “solution” was not included in the top two results, users were more likely to fail finding it.
- Neither age nor prior interest had significant influence on search behaviour.
- Generally, gender did not have a big impact on search behaviour, though females viewed results in more linear manner than males.
- When asked to go to Bebo or YouTube, many users preferred using the Google Search engine to navigate to these websites rather than typing in the URL in the address bar.
June 24, 2009
Earlier this year, Irish Deaf Kids received an Innovation Voucher from Enterprise Ireland to work with the National E-Learning Lab in NCI to undertake usability testing on IDK’s website www.irishdeafkids.ie
Irish Deaf Kids is a ”for-impact” venture aimed at supporting inclusive education for deaf children in Ireland while empowering parents to develop their children’s full potential.
Caroline Carswell, founder of IDK says ’We are delighted to have received this support, we will use this voucher to undertake usability testing to help us pinpoint what exactly visitors want from our website and to structure it accordingly”
“During the usability research project IDK will be able to focus on core tasks while NCI devises a solution to take us to the next level”
Five users, four of which are teachers, participated in usability testing for this website and report was completed in June 2009. Contact Caroline on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.