Thursday, January 26, 2012

Application Modifications

In order to solve the problems detected during the heuristic evaluation, we have applied the following changes to our application:

  • We added a new page to our application called the Start Page, where a demo of the game is shown in the background. A text, two blinking arrows and two silhouettes are also displayed to act a guide to the user of how to start the game.
  • For indicating the highlighting duration which a Action Button needs, we have added a progress circle to the top right corner of each page, which fills itself fully up in the highlighting duration.
  • When a game is over, a continue button appears, which the user has to activate in order to continue.
  • We have introduced a new page to the game, called the "Score Board", which shows a table with the names of the users that have completed the came in the shortest time. This page challenges the users so that they compete for the top rankings. This feature add to the game-challenge
  • In a revolutionary act (;D), we have reconstructed the whole project. While the old structure consisted of only one class, which made parallel programming impossible, the new structure consists of many packages and classes. This structure allows us to work on different parts of the application simultaneously. Also, we were able to test application by easily replacing the Kinect inputs, with mouse inputs, which to some extent solved the problem of having only one Kinect and 4 developers.
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Heuristic Evaluation Results: Problems

The following problems with our application were identified as the result of the heuristic evaluation. The numbers indicate the severity level of a problem, where 1 stand for minor and 5 for a severe problem.
  • No application information about the game itself and its contents (5)
  • Necessary highlighting duration of an Action Button is not visible (4)
  • No visual difference between Selection Buttons and Action Buttons not visible (2)
  • No auto-starting of the game when the user is not detected anymore during the game (4)
  • Depth image received by the Kinect is displayed instead of the normal image (1)

Project Specific Heuristics

We have defined the following two heuristics that are specific for our project and we have evaluated our project accordingly:

Sufficient level of challenge:
  • Supported by increasing ball speed and different game modes
Continuous visual feedback to the User:
  • Input from the Kinect is visible through the whole application
  • The hand of the user which is considered as the "Action Hand" is always marked with the color of the user.

Task done by: All

Heuristic Evaluation

The following is the summary of the heuristic evaluation of our application. Both positive and negative aspects of are application were considered in the evaluation:

Visibility of system status:
  • No visible feedback when selecting "Start" & "Exit" Button. These buttons need to remain highlighted for several seconds to be activated.
  • No sound feedback (not practical for our scenario)
Match between system and the real world:
Overall Good:
  • Camera feedback.
  • Marking the users' hands which are considered as the "action hands" by our application
  • Intuitive naming of buttons
User control and freedom:
  • The subtlety of the movements is limited by the resolution of the Kinect
  • The user must remain in the view range of the Kinect in order to interact
  • Playing hand is predefined
  • The first user (left user) controls the game settings
  • Exit button allows the users to quit the game at any given time.
Consistency and standards:
  • No difference in the appearance of a "Selection Button" and a "Hover button"
  • Each player is specified by a different but consistant color throughout the game.
Error prevention:
  • Introduction of the "Start Button" prevents the users from selecting an unwanted game mode.
Recognition rather than recall:
  • The simple design of our application, eliminates the need for recognition and recall.
Flexibility and efficiency of use:
  • Minimal, simple and well-known design leaves no room for distinguishing between novice and experienced users.
Aesthetic and minimalist design:
  • The information relevant to each view of the application is limited to that view and is compact.
Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors:
  • If the Kinect loses track of the user, the game is still continued
Help and documentation:
  • Not supported due to minimalist design

Task done by: All