"REACTIONS" RESEARCH SUMMARY
learning tools / research
One of the projects I took part in as a member of the Technology for Social Good research and design lab was the analysis of the reactions feature on the online social learning network iRemix. In order to evaluate the implementation of this feature's second iteration, lab members conducted usability tests with students using the system. I analyzed the results of these tests, discussed them in a written report, and presented them to other members during a lab meeting.
OBJECTIVES To analyze and present the results of usability tests conducted with the reactions feature in iRemix
SKILLS Analytics, Qualitative Research, Presentation
PLATFORM Written report and digital presentation
CONTEXT Research for Digital Youth Network, conducted as a lab member and research assistant. Completed with members of the Digital Youth Network (DYN)
The first step in this project was to become familiar with data collected during the 12 usability tests with students. This data took the form of audio recordings, text transcripts, and screen recordings of the computer used during the test. I worked on creating a spreadsheet that summarizes the participants’ responses to each question or prompt by choosing relevant quotes and summarizing their reactions when necessary.
After constructing the spreadsheet of notes, I collaborated with others to produce a report that presents the data and its relation to the feature. The first step in the creation of this report was to define themes for the questions and prompts given during the test. These themes are descriptive of how each portion relates to the Reactions feature and what insights can be gained from analyzing its responses.Examples of themes created include: “Frequency,” which describes how frequently the participants interact with the feature and the system, and “Privacy,” which describes participants’ feelings about their visibility on iRemix. This report also features a section in which all of the participants’ responses are taken into consideration to answer research questions posed by the lab.
By conducting the usability test, the lab expected to gain a better understanding of the needs of users and their use of the Reactions feature. I made inferences based on the responses we received and used quotes as support. Another portion of the report was dedicated to listing various technical issues the participants claimed to have experienced while using the feature. After compiling a list of problems mentioned in the sessions, I conducted several tests to find out more about each problem and attempted to find potential solutions. I described my findings and included screenshots in the report.
Once this report was nearly finished, it was shared with other members of the Cyberlearning team. I then collaborated with others to create a slideshow presentation that summarizes noteworthy details of the report; this includes background information about the tests, important findings and user quotes, potential issues concerning the feature, and technical problems. Below are two images from our presentation:
The first image lists the themes of questions I assisted in developing around the usability test questions. The second image lists one of the technical issues reported during the test. I, along with another lab member, presented these findings to the Cyberlearning Team in our March 2016 meeting.
This project was one of my first experiences interacting with comprehensive user data. I have conducted usability tests and analyzed the results in past classes, but the data collected in previous tests was typically less extensive. Interacting with these results, I realized that being able to summarize and present findings requires a deep understanding of the data; after working with it for several weeks, I noticed that I was able to recall specific responses and characteristics of the participants. The opportunity to collaborate with others in this project also gave me a better understanding of how data can be used to create valuable insights that can eventually improve a user’s experience.