Slow Technology: Programming the Interface

1.1.1   Error Handling

 

Participatory Design (PD) includes low-fidelity mockups to gain a deep contextual understanding of users’ potential interactions with new technologies while leveraging their existing skills and experiences. (aspects of user-centered design) (Sengers, et al. 2005) It was important to observe the users interacting with the program in order to be able to design a program that was as intuitive as possible. To create the final prototype used for testing, a process (Quick & Dirty) used highlighted elements that would need to be modified / included or fixed. The process of the prototyping was:

 

  • Meet with end users informally
  • Show them the current prototype
  • Ask them what they think
  • Note their thoughts, worries, what they like, dislike, etc
  • Data collected is qualitative
  • Verbal or written notes, sketches
  • Reflect on what you find
  • Change design if appropriate

 

These are the routines programmed to help with possible errors.

 

Table 1 Error handling for the program

Problems Causes Solutions
Does not want to leave a tip / has no tip to enter Users can be shy / being watched / unsure why they would want to leave a tip The tip screen can be exited by tapping anywhere on the screen. There is a confirmation dialogue to be sure it isn’t tapped in error.
No tip entered Users can be shy, have no tip they feel they should enter, only clicked it because they were curious If they tap ‘done’ before entering a tip, it asks to confirm that this is the intention. They do not have to leave a tip and they won’t be locked into this screen.
No name entered Don’t want to leave their name, unsure where the information will be used Confirm that they do not want to leave a name, it will use ‘anon’ in this case. They do not have to leave their name.
Want to exit without leaving anything They may have selected the screen unintentionally, curious what is there but don’t want to enter anything. They can tap the background at any time to exit this modal screen. It will ask for confirmation to be sure it doesn’t quit while they are mid typing and accidently touch the background (which is likely)
Walks away when left at the tip screen Not wanting to enter info, not sure what to do next This should have a timer feature so that if the screen is left opened for a set period of time, and there is no activity, it will revert to the main viewing screen.
Language filter Will leave a rude name, rude comments, racial comments / slurs Language filter to catch what is possible, currently this has been linked to a .plist file so more words can be added. IT may be too sensitive at the moment. Additionally it was felt if this was in the baby section this would be less of an issue.
Dragging the planet outside of the screen area Testing the program and its limits, want to remove a planet trying to play with it to make them disappear. Constraints, as well as random movement, was implemented to prevent completely obscuring someone’s planet or removing it altogether.

 

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