Individual Heuristic Evaluation | Other Evaluations

Individual Heuristic Evaluation - John Mark

1. [H1 Visibility of system status] (Severity 1)
On the Gene Details page the "Loading" text in the upper right-hand corner of the page seems slightly redundant with the browser's own loading feedback. Not really a problem, but it might be nice to have the word "Loaded" removed after the page is loaded. Users who missed the beginning loading, might wonder what has actually been loaded.

2. [H2 Match between system and the real world] (Severity 2)
On the Gene Details page, the text "V.1.1 and V1.0" exists. It is unclear to me what the linked V1.0 does, or why the V1.1 is not linked. (the extra white space before V1.0 is also linked) Maybe to a targeted user, this link is clearer.

3. [H4 Consistency & Standards] (Severity 2)
Under "Discussion" the user name is linked. I expected it to bring me to a page that had details about the user, much as clicking on a gene brought me more details about the gene. I was not expecting it to be a mailto link. Maybe if there is no info about that user, a small "envelope icon" might make the functionality more clear. For many users, mailto links cause work flow disruptions when a new application is launched.

4. [H2 Match between system and the real world] (Severity 3)
On the Gene Details page, under "discussion," there is a "More" link. I expected this link to show me more of the text of the message shown. It instead drops me to a full Annotation History page and I have to scan the page to find the quote that is begun on the Details page. Oddly, I can't even find the quote shown. Perhaps it is just hard-coded for this prototype.

5. [H4 Consistency & Standards] (Severity 2)
The Gene Details page has two buttons for submitting opinion: "I Agree", and "I Disagree". They are both red, which is troubling since, to me, that seems to indicate they are both negative feedback. Maybe "I Agree" should be green.

6. [H1 Visibility of system status] (Severity 3)
When clicked, both the "I Agree" and "I Disagree" buttons stay blue (highlighted) even after the results have been "saved." They should revert back to normal state to avoid giving the impression the system has failed to complete the save. I would suggest instead you "gray out" the button that was clicked, to indicate you can't agree (or disagree) twice.

7. [H4 Consistency & Standards] (Severity 2)
"Update Annotation" and "Discuss" buttons have slightly different windowing behavior. It looks like "Update" brings up a new window, while "Discuss" redirects the current one. I would suggest making them consistent, or at the very least, change the frame and look of the new window. Make it clear that it is a "dialog" rather than the new window of interaction. I tend to find myself using the new window to finish my work flow and forget about the parent window from which spawned.

8. [H2 Match between system and the real world] (Severity 1)
I find the phrase "0 of 1 voters agreed with this annotation" cumbersome. Maybe it would better be served with "Agreed: 10, Disagreed: 30, Total: 40" or something like that.

9. [H4 Consistency & Standards] (Severity 1)
On the "Annotation" page, the use of colons is inconsistent. The first set of questions has none, but the "Evidence" set mostly uses them. I suggest you use them for all fields, even checkboxes, as ungrammatical as that seems.

10. [H5 Error prevention] (Severity --)
It is noted that there is no error checking on the Annotation page. This will be implemented in future versions, I am just making note of it for completeness sake.

11. [H4 Consistency & Standards] (Severity 1)
On the Annotation page, change "Comment (will be..." to "Comments (will be..." as most users think of comments in the plural.

12. [H4 Consistency & Standards] (Severity 1)
t the end of the Annotation page, two checkboxes exist. They break the pattern of label first and then input field, as established earlier on the page. On the second field, "Notify me via Email of discussion and changes," capitalization should be kept consistent with the label above it, either title-case it, or convert both to normal case style. Example: "Notify Me Via Email of Discussions and Changes."

13. [H3 User control and freedom] (Severity 3)
From the Gene Cart, if you choose to "Discuss Selected" one is brought to a discussion page. On this page, there is a cancel button which does nothing. There should be a clear way to get back to the Gene Cart if the user decides not to discuss those genes.

14. [H2 Match between system and the real world] (Severity 2)
Discuss Selected Genes and Gene Cart page lists a set of "Gene Object IDs." This might make more sense to a target user, but I am guessing this is an example of the code peeking through into the UI. If the ID is needed, maybe the Discuss page should list the descriptions as well. Otherwise the user must remember the IDs and be confident they are the ones they wish to comment on.

15. [H3 User control and freedom] (Severity 4)
"Discuss Selected Genes" allows you to submit your comment, but after you do so, you are brought to a page that only lets you "close the window." This button didn't actually work, but nor did I want it to as this was the only window I had open. It does work if you get to that page through the Update Discussion page, at which point it really does close your browser window! The user's only escape is the browser back button.

16. [H3 User control and freedom] (Severity 3)
The Annotation page, after you review your changes and submit, brings you back to the edit Annotation page. I am not sure why I would want to add a new annotation to the same gene. This should probably bring you back to the main gene listing page, or from where you first entered the annotation process.

17. [H4 Consistency & Standards] (Severity 1)
The Annotation page refers to the free form text areas as "Comments," where as elsewhere they are noted as "Discussions." If these are the same thing, they probably should be consistently referred to as one or the other.

18. [H8 Aesthetic and minimalist design] (Severity 2)
The "Discuss This Annotation" page, and elsewhere, includes a full time stamp of when the annotation was made. It is probably gratuitous to include the time full information. At least the "seconds" are unlikely to be useful and it clutters the display. I would suggest visually separating the timestamp, author, and comments a little more. A slight use of color or a gestalt grouping might be enough to make this page easier to read. Long comments could quickly become a long jumble of text otherwise. I am not sure what the "-0800" code is for, but it is unlikely to mean much to the user.


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