Want to help out BostonCHI?

Our elections will be in June, and Rachel and Todd will not be seeking re-election as Chair or Vice-Chair this year. We’re looking for people interested in helping to run BostonCHI, so that we can continue to offer the high quality content and community that you’ve come to expect. If you’re interested in this opportunity, or know someone who might be, please submit a nomination.

If you have any questions about the positions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Rachel (rachel@bostonchi.org) or Todd (todd@bostonchi.org).

Learnability By Chauncy Wilson

Meeting date: May 12  – 6:30PM

This is a joint meeting with STC NE

  • Chauncy Wilson will discuss Learnability
  • Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 6:30pm
  • Autodesk at 1560 Trapelo Road, Waltham
  • Please register. It helps us and our hosts plan.

 

This is a joint meeting with STC NE
STC-NELogo

Abstract

Learnability is an important aspect of usability, yet there is little agreement on exactly what learnability is, how to measure it, and the guidelines and principles that design teams should follow to make products and services easy to learn.

Usability guru, Jakob Nielsen defined “learnability” as “allowing users to reach a reasonable level of proficiency within a short time,” but this statement requires product teams to further define “users”, “reasonable”, “level of proficiency”, and “short time”. Designers of an ATM, for example, might consider error free withdrawals within a minute during the first use of a new model of ATM a reasonable learnability goal; designers of a complex customer relationship (CRM) system might base learnability goals on performance and error rates on a set of tasks after 2 weeks of training.

What types of learnability are important for your product or service? Each type of learnability has a different learning curve, measuring method, and target performance goal. In this program, Wilson describes various types of learnability, including the following:
· (Literal) first experience with a product
· Memorability (relearning) after a period away from a product
· Expert learning
· Transfer learning when you move from one product to its replacement
· Learning under stress

How do you measure learnability? Wilson discusses methods for measuring usability in detail and note some of the problems with those learnability measures. Examples of learnability metrics that have been used in usability/UX studies include the following:
· Time to complete tasks
· Percentage of users who complete a task successfully
· Percentage of users who complete a task with no assist (going to help or a colleague)
· Change in chunk size over time
· Number of rules required to understand/describe a system
· Learnability surveys
· Percent of available commands or features used

Wilson concludes with a practical discussion of principles, guidelines, and patterns that can be applied to support learnability that focus on both user interface and learning content. He will provide a list of references to learnability and techniques for improving the learnability of products.

Bio

Chauncey Wilson is a User Experience Architect at Autodesk, Inc., and Adjunct Lecturer in the Human Factors and Information Design Program at Bentley University. He has presented often at UXPA, STC, CHI, APA, and HFES conferences. Wilson has published several books and chapters on usability engineering, brainstorming, surveys, and inspection methods. He co-authored a chapter (with Dennis Wixon) in the 1997 Handbook of HCI that described how to generate quantitative usability goals (which included learnability along with other usability attributes). Wilson enjoys the role of mentor and always tries to highlight the pros and cons of methods, principles, and processes. He is a member of the Skeptic’s society and enjoys the role of “Chief Skeptic.”.

Evening Schedule

  • 6:30 – 7:00 Networking over pizza and beverages
  • 7:00 – 8:30 Meeting
  • 8:30 – 9:00 CHI Dessert and more networking!

Monthly Sponsors

Thank you to our generous sponsors. If you’re interested in sponsoring BostonCHI, please let us know.

Autodesk is hosting us and providing pizza.

Autodesk_logo_detail

Vitamin T will be sponsoring dessert

VitaminTLogo

Designing Social Interfaces for Serious Applications

Meeting date: April 14  – 6:30PM

Timothy Bickmore Ph.D.
Timothy Bickmore, Ph.D., Associate Professor, College of Computer & Information Science, Northeastern University
  • Dr. Bickmore will discuss his research on  Relational Agents: computational artifacts designed to build long-term social-emotional relationships with their users
  • Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 6:30pm
  • Behrakis Hall, Room 10 (basement), Northeastern University, 30 Leon Street, Boston
  • Please register. It helps us and our hosts plan.

Abstract

The vast majority of UIs are designed to support instrumental tasks, with efficiency and learnability the primary metrics of design quality. However, many studies have shown that users also respond to our UIs at a social level, treating the interface itself as if it were a social being. Early attempts to capitalize on this phenomenon did not meet with unqualified success (remember Microsoft Bob, or the Office Assistant?). In this talk Dr. Bickmore will introduce a class of applications and a number of user populations for which social interfaces have been demonstrated to work significantly better than more traditional UIs, in serious domains beyond mere entertainment in which users’ lives may be at stake. He will also discuss a series of efforts to manipulate a particular dimension of interface sociality–the user’s perceived social relationship with the UI–and how this can be used to an application’s advantage. I refer to the resulting artifacts as “relational agents”, and the relational dimension of primary interest as the “therapeutic alliance”, which is the trust that a user has in achieving a desired outcome with the UI.

Relational agents have been used in a range of applications in which either the user population has low reading, health, or computer literacy, or in which long-term trust relationships
are important in human-human interactions, such as in education, health counseling, psychotherapy, and sales. Most of the work in my lab over the last decade has been in healthcare, in which we use relational agents to engage patients–especially those from disadvantaged populations–in long-term health interventions.

Bio

Timothy Bickmore is an Associate Professor in the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University. Dr. Bickmore’s research focus is on the development of Relational Agents: computational artifacts designed to build long-term social-emotional relationships with their users. These agents have been deployed within the context of behavior change interventions in which they are designed to establish therapeutic alliance relationships with patients in order to maximize health intervention outcomes. Prior to joining Northeastern, Dr. Bickmore was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Bickmore received his PhD from the MIT Media Lab.

Evening Schedule

  • 6:30 – 7:00 Networking over pizza and beverages
  • 7:00 – 8:30 Meeting
  • 8:30 – 9:00 CHI Dessert and more networking!

Monthly Sponsors

Thank you to our generous sponsors. If you’re interested in sponsoring BostonCHI, please let us know.

Northeastern University is hosting us and providing pizza.

northeastern-logo

Vitamin T will be sponsoring dessert

VitaminTLogo

Getting there

Detailed (large) map:

northeasterncampusmap

This is accessible on the T by the Orange Line at Ruggles Station, or the Green Line (E) at the Museum of Fine Arts stop.

The closest NU parking garage is the West Village Parking garage.
The Renaissance garage is also very close (just walk thru Ruggles station).
The MFA garage is also an option – 3 blocks away. There is also metered parking all around the university (e.g., on Forbes, and around the MFA).

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