Shapes (wireframe)

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(Note: I tried to submitting this to NGAlphas but it never went through. So it's here)

This is a project for a interface/usability class.

It has limited functionality and works similar to a point and click adventure... an adventure in software!

The goal of shapes is to introduce middle school age children to limited scripting/programming in an artistic (visual) context. It is a sort of feature limited mashup of a vector graphics program like Illustrator and an introductory programming environment like Processing.

Using this wireframe you will be led through three interactive tutorials where you manipulate some graphics in a variety of ways.

The goal of this specific iteration is to gather feedback from users. PLEASE FILL OUT THE QUESTIONNAIRE. I am really interested in your answers! It will help me make better informed decisions in my design process.

This study is focused on usability (user flow, cognitive ergonomics etc.) as such the fine points of the interface's aesthetics are not a concern.


really cool

it might have been hard to figure out at times but it was fun. i would have liked it a bit more if you made it so we can click anything and it would say if we did it wrong but overall good tut

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ff9900Juice responds:

Allowing for users to go a step or two outside of the planned path is totally on the todo list. People perform some interactions in order to learn rather than accomplish, so it'd be very helpful for this.


It's a bit unclear at times, like where to click or what to do, and it also isn't really related to any particular program, which makes its usability limited. Perhaps you could do something similar with Illustrator or Processing instead of create a new, fictional program, and include more instructions?

I don't understand why you posted this on Newgrounds, since the general public here isn't very receptive to educational tools. :P

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ff9900Juice responds:

"I don't understand why you posted this on Newgrounds, since the general public here isn't very receptive to educational tools. :P"

I needed to do user testing on middle schoolers, and unfortunately institutions make it a little difficult to gain access to kids (intentionally and unintentionally and for a number of reasons.) Instead of trying to bring the project to kids, posting on newgrounds brought a bunch of kids to the project.

You're right, only small percentage of people actually finished and an even smaller amount went on to the questionnaire, and even some of those didn't finish that. However, the people that had enough interest to actually respond are likely closer to my target audience than random people from a class. And in the end the very small handful of replies I got gave me exactly the amount of info I needed, and with an exceptionally fast turn around = )

Really hard to understand

i couldn't even turn the mohawk green!!!

Give it a help/tip/hint button or something. >:(

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ff9900Juice responds:

Hey, I'm sorry you weren't able to turn the mowhawk green. I promise I'm working to make it all as easy to understand as I can.


Like a point n click adventure without any of the freedom or fun. Ok, I get it, it's a development iteration. It would be better to have a degree or two more of freedom (i.e., when resizing the hair box, allow the box to be sized at will, but only give the completion message when sized to the desired shape, have a dotted outline as a guide for each step), and the interface is problematic, in that it's often not clear which icons will do what, or why they work the way they do. It's unsatisfying to to interact with for some reason. Maybe I'm used to virtual buttons that react when you press them.

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ff9900Juice responds:

Indeed, as a wire frame I understand it isn't neeeaaarrrrly as much fun to use as something that responds in a variety of ways. I'd love to build some of the direct manipulation into it. (For my fun, your fun, and for user understanding too, some feedback to "incorrect" input can really help users understand how the program works.)

I'm just not to that stage yet. The things I'm trying to look at are much more basic right now. It's surprisingly insightful just watching where someone first clicks when they attempt to do something. In one action you get an idea of how they "want" to approach a task, and how they understand the application space mentally.

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Credits & Info

2.48 / 5.00

Mar 2, 2009
9:14 PM EST
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