Web Tech GDS Notes: User tasks for 4th Usability Testing Round

Task 1 — Find a property

Please imag­ine that you are plan­ing a vaca­tion and decided to rent a vaca­tion rental prop­erty.
Now all you need is to find a nice prop­erty and you’ll be on your way, leav­ing on the 23rd of November.

You decided to go to Ams­ter­dam for a week (7 days) and stay at a non-smoking prop­erty with inter­net access.

And since you’re going to Ams­ter­dam, you would love to stay at a prop­erty next to a canal.

Please use the website’s tools and fea­tures to find this property.


Task 2 — Book a property

Now that you found a prop­erty, please go ahead and book it.

Remem­ber that you also need a place to park your rented car while you’re stay­ing in this property.

Please use your own name, address and con­tact infor­ma­tion (Don’t worry, this infor­ma­tion will be dis­carded once this task is done). You can use the fol­low­ing credit card information:

Visa — Num­ber 4453 2345 4343 9847 — Exp. Date 02/2015 — Secu­rity Code 4356


Task 3 — Send a mes­sage to a property’s owner or manager

Now that your vaca­tion rental is booked you heard news of a friend that wants to go on this trip with you.

Please con­tact the per­son respon­si­ble for the prop­erty and ask if you can bring a guest with you with no extra charges.


Task 4 — Review a property 

Since you’re already logged into your account, please take this oppor­tu­nity and review the vaca­tion rental prop­erty that you stayed on your last trip to Hawaii.
Imag­ine that you had a great time in the vaca­tion rental you stayed dur­ing that trip.
Please write a review and  to it. Use the infor­ma­tion bellow:

We had a great expe­ri­ence dur­ing our stay at this property.”


File 1, File 2


Task 5 — Find the can­cel­la­tion pol­icy of a property 

You heard rumors at work about a last minute busi­ness trip and unfor­tu­nately you think you might have to can­cel your vaca­tion plans. But you’re not sure yet. Please find out what would hap­pen if you had to can­cel your booking.


Task 6 — Can­cel a booking 

Looks like the rumors were true. You will have to travel for work and won’t be able to go on vaca­tion. Please can­cel your booking.



Task 7 — Change your noti­fi­ca­tion settings 

You are very sorry about can­celling your trip as well as wor­ried about receiv­ing your money back. You want to know right away if there’s a new mes­sage or any sort of com­mu­ni­ca­tion com­ing from the vaca­tion rental owner/manager.Please find a way to set up some sort of alarm when­ever you receive a new message.


Task 8 — File a com­plain about a review

You found out that the host from your last trip to Maui gave you a pretty bad review as a guest. And he also wrote some things that were not true. Maybe he’s con­fus­ing you with another guest. Please try to fix that.


Task 9 — Wish list  

You haven’t given up the idea of going to Ams­ter­dam on your next vaca­tion and you really liked the apart­ment that you found. Please find a way to save that prop­erty for a future vaca­tion opportunity.


Task 10 — Contact  

You are wor­ried about the review that you received and want to talk to some­one from Keyzz over the phone. Find a way to com­mu­ni­cate directly with Keyzz​.com.

Web Tech GDS Notes: Hybrid Prototype

The ninth ver­sion of the pro­to­type of keyzz​.com is ready to be tested. It can be found at keyzz​.com/​p​r​o​t​o​t​y​pe9 and it is a hybrid of high fidelity and wire­frame design.

It was cre­ated to sup­ply the exist­ing use case sce­nar­ios tar­geted at users who are look­ing for a vaca­tion rental (guests).

The high fidelity part of the pro­to­type was cre­ated using HTML, CSS, jQuery, and JavaScript. The wire­frame part was cre­ated using the rapid pro­to­typ­ing soft­ware Axure.

Web Tech GDS Notes: 1st Class

Group Directed Study in Web Tech­nolo­gies II with instruc­tor Jose Solis

WEEK 1 — SEPTEMBER 6, 2011

– Add photo to About page
– Update Resume
– Val­i­date each page using http://​val​ida​tor​.w3​.org/

– Mint
– Dribbble


Mint​.com is a free Web appli­ca­tion to man­age your money. It brings together in one place all the finan­cial accounts from all insti­tu­tions where the user has an account. It allows the user to cat­e­go­rize the trans­ac­tions, set bud­get and sav­ings goals, orga­nize and set bill reminders, and it also sug­gests ways to save money on finan­cial products.

Trust is a big issue when it comes to online bank­ing and shar­ing finan­cial infor­ma­tion online. Mint.com’s tar­get audi­ence is com­posed of com­puter savvy adults who bank in the US and are com­fort­able shar­ing their finan­cial infor­ma­tion online. By using the Web appli­ca­tion these users save time and are able to orga­nize their finan­cial online whether using a com­puter or directly on their mobile devices.

User goals
The main goal of users of Web appli­ca­tions like Mint​.com is to save time. The aver­age per­son has at least one bank account, one credit card account, one sav­ings account, 401K invest­ments, loans, etc. It can take a long time to keep up to date with all these accounts. Finan­cial insti­tu­tions usu­ally have very com­plex sign in rou­tines due to safety and pri­vacy con­cerns. Mint​.com offers the pos­si­bil­ity of access­ing all this infor­ma­tion from one place. And all trans­ac­tions are auto­mat­i­cally cat­e­go­rized for you, allow­ing you to see where your money is being spent, for instance.

Infor­ma­tion archi­tec­ture
The infor­ma­tion is dis­trib­uted in a very straight for­ward struc­ture, using a co-existing hier­ar­chic pat­tern that is not deep, with one main index page (overview) that leads to all other pages (fea­tures) that are all pop­u­lated by the same data (finan­cial info gen­er­ated by the user and the user’s finan­cial insti­tu­tions).
There are also some “wiz­ard style” process fun­nels to help users accom­plish more detailed tasks.

The labels are very clear and the fea­tures work as expected. In my opin­ion as a user, the biggest flaw of the appli­ca­tion is that it is not able to gather pend­ing trans­ac­tions from some of the finan­cial insti­tu­tions, con­se­quently mak­ing the infor­ma­tion showed not up to date.
One great fea­ture of the appli­ca­tion is the abil­ity to com­pare the user’s spend­ing pat­terns to the spend­ing pat­terns of dif­fer­ent cities, states or even the coun­try. Those com­par­isons add a lot to the over­all expe­ri­ence of using this application.

Sug­gested improve­ments
The overview page does not give enough empha­sis to the actual infor­ma­tion gath­ered by the appli­ca­tion (the bank and credit card trans­ac­tions). Instead it uses too much of the page’s space on sec­ondary fea­tures like bud­get, goals, ways to save, etc. I would pre­fer to see sec­tions like lat­est trans­ac­tions, pend­ing trans­ac­tions, or uncat­e­go­rized trans­ac­tions on the overview page.


Dribb­ble is a Web appli­ca­tion for cre­ative pro­fes­sion­als inter­ested in see­ing and pub­lish­ing high qual­ity “shots” of visual inspi­ra­tion based of projects they are cur­rently work­ing on. Some say Dribb­ble is a Twit­ter for cre­atives. Shots are to Dribb­ble as tweets are to Twitter.

Dribbble’s tar­get audi­ence is com­posed of cre­ative pro­fes­sion­als from all around the world, spe­cially web design­ers, graphic design­ers, and illustrators.

User goals
The qual­ity of the shots pub­lished at Dribb­ble is very high and the design com­mu­nity is very well rep­re­sented within the appli­ca­tion. Dribb­ble users can be “play­ers”, “spec­ta­tors”, or “prospects”. Only play­ers can pub­lish shots. The only way that you can become a player is to be drafted by another player. Being drafted means receiv­ing recog­ni­tion from the com­mu­nity and expo­sure on the appli­ca­tion. Spec­ta­tors and prospects’ ulti­mate goal is to be drafted, but in the mean­time they can fol­low exist­ing play­ers and use the appli­ca­tion as a source of inspi­ra­tion.
Drafted play­ers can also opt to become a “Pro” and be able to cre­ate projects with com­mon shots and update work avail­abil­ity settings.

Infor­ma­tion archi­tec­ture
The main page of the appli­ca­tion is a live feed of the shots most recently pub­lished by play­ers. This main feed is cat­e­go­rized by pop­u­lar­ity (pop­u­lar, every­one, debuts, play­offs), by tags (gen­er­ated by author/player), by projects (gen­er­ated by the author/player), by buck­ets (gen­er­ated by any user), and by color (gen­er­ated by the sys­tem).
Reg­is­tered users are cat­e­go­rized as play­ers (and play­ers can be rook­ies and all-stars), or spec­ta­tors (prospects or not).
Indi­vid­ual shots can receive responses (com­ments), be liked, or added to a bucket.
Buck­ets are col­lec­tions of shots (any shots) orga­nized by a user. i.e. iOS icons, forms, data visu­al­iza­tion.
Projects are col­lec­tions of shots (your shots) orga­nized by the shot’s author. i.e. each project is a client or a website.

The color search­ing is very intu­itive and respon­sive. Users can browse the whole archive of shots that con­tain a cer­tain color, spec­i­fy­ing the color through a color picker or by enter­ing the hexa­code of the color. The user can also spec­ify the min­i­mum cov­er­age of the color on the shot, as well as the color variance.

Sug­gested improve­ments
The Dribb­ble com­mu­nity pro­duce an enor­mous amount of con­tent, most of it of great qual­ity. It can be a great source of inspi­ra­tion for design stu­dents and new­com­ers, as well as more expe­ri­enced cre­ative pro­fes­sion­als. For that rea­son I think the web­site should offer more tools to improve the expe­ri­ence of those users that see Dribb­ble as an inspi­ra­tion source and not just a place to see and be seen. “Buck­ets” and “Projects” are a good start but they are not enough.