Personal Honours Project - Mk. 2 - Acting on Feedback & User Testing

Preparing for the Mk. 2 presentation certainly paid off, as the overall reception to my project was positive. The feedback I received from Chris, Andrea and Nick Taylor (who was sitting in on our presentations) was that I need to prepare my users for what to do next after they complete their current learning goal as well as help them define what their ultimate goal is from using the experience. Andrea also pointed out that I had neglected to show a self-assessment screen which is a huge part of constructionism learning. Nick also suggested I include some way of actually applying the knowledge learnt at the end of the experience, perhaps in some sort of assessment.

Moving on to what would be essentially Mk 2.1, I began by tweaking everything - various screen states were added, removed and modified to make the prototype feel less static and more like a native iPhone app. This was important to work on so that while the learner is working through the experience their immersion would not be broken by the prototype stuttering or not working as expected.

One of two new screens I added in particular was a new welcome screen that welcomes the learner back and asks if they would like to continue their learning. It also highlights the learner’s current goal which in this case will be to complete “Finish Introducing JavaScript”. To do this, the app will tell the learner that they will have one more exercise to complete and will provide a direct link to the start of the Let’s Code: Rock, Paper, Scissors exercise to encourage people to pick up where they left off.

The other screen was a self assessment section that users are required to complete when they finish the whole exercise. During this section, the user gets a recap of everything they came across during the tasks and they can tap to select anything that they felt they struggled with during the tasks. After swiping through everything encountered during the tasks, they are taken to a summary screen that highlights what the users felt comfortable using and also highlights what the learner struggled with during the tasks. Anything that the users had problems with can be assigned as their next learning goal i.e. the learner struggled with variables through out the tasks and if the user presses the provided button to do so, their new learning goal can be set too “Mastering Variables”.

For the prototype the learning goal title is pre-defined but given more time I think it would be important to explore the possibility of allowing the user to name their own goal to take ownership other learning.

With these screens, I felt I had successfully acted on the critique received during the presentations. 

Satisfied with my prototype, I felt it was time to begin user testing to get feedback from users. As I'd done for Mk. 1, I prepared a list of questions that I was looking to answer from testing but I was also interested in just listening to how the user perceived the app and what their experience had been like with it without prompting.

Tester 1 found the app to be clear, easy and had a range of options for help that they appreciated, being a beginner to coding. They also praised the use of wording as it was friendly and easy to follow; they also commented on the fact that it was encouraging, which was reassuring to hear that they were on the right track. Tester 1 also liked that you could view the code after each task, as this helped them visualise how the pieces of code would fit together in the program, as well as helped them think through it. 

When asked what the app did particularly well, Tester 1 said that the ending was well executed as it gave you nice summaries of everything encountered during the tasks and highlighted where you could find each of them again in the tasks. This helped them reinforce their knowledge. Their only critiques were that while the prototype had a menu overlay it was not functional and would have liked to have access to the options and that the help button may be a little lost in the screens.

Tester 2 had similar thoughts on the experience - they liked that you could see the journey along the bottom and you could visually see how far your had to left to go to complete the exercise. They also loved that you could play Rock, Paper, Scissors at the end as you then got to see firsthand the results of you working through the various exercises. They also commented that the code view was welcomed as it also helped them think through the tasks and was interesting to look at.

Their critiques were that I should extend the hotspots on the overview to include the symbols at the end, as the tester mistook them for buttons. They also suggested that I include an introduction to how the app works, perhaps before task 1.