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Introduction - Universitetet i Oslo

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The heuristics are typically looking much like well-known high-level design principles, but often they must be adjusted to the particular application or

    SKATTEKORT

    Kristin Skeide Fuglerud, Hani Murad, Sven M. Bakken, Øivind Hagen,

    Ole Halvor Smylingsås

    MIDTVEISRAPPORT INF5261

Table of Contents

    Introduction .......................................................................................................................................... 3 Background ..................................................................................................................................... 3 The tax card prototype for mobile phones ........................................................................................... 3 Theory .................................................................................................................................................. 5 The impulse to design ..................................................................................................................... 5 User “Understanding” – Establishing requirements ........................................................................ 6

    What sort of knowledge the designer needs? .................................................................................. 6 What makes good design? ............................................................................................................... 6 Obtaining information ..................................................................................................................... 6 Is there a typical user? ..................................................................................................................... 7 Concepts of evaluation .................................................................................................................... 7 Method ................................................................................................................................................. 8 The interview ................................................................................................................................... 8

    How will we do this? .................................................................................................................. 8

    Who will we interview? .............................................................................................................. 8

    What equipment will we use? ..................................................................................................... 8 Heuristic evaluation ......................................................................................................................... 9 Results ................................................................................................................................................ 10 Discussion .......................................................................................................................................... 10 Mobile vs. Stationary .................................................................................................................... 10 Limitation of results ...................................................................................................................... 10

    Usergroups ................................................................................................................................ 10

    Test of mobile vs. test of application ........................................................................................ 11

    Application suitability .............................................................................................................. 11 Conclusion ......................................................................................................................................... 11

Introduction

    As part of the strategy of producing better services for citizens, many central and local governments are beginning to offer services via a variety of service delivery channels. It is a strategic goal for the Norwegian Tax Authorities (SKD) to develop and improve the information and electronic services provided to taxpayers. By introduction of new, alternative and better public services it will be easier for taxpayers to comply with the rules that the SKD administer.

    In order to study and learn about different aspects of services based on mobile technology a prototype for changing tax card information has been developed.

    In the existing Internet application for changing tax cards it is possible to make changes to a large number of entries in each taxpayer‟s information base. Using the mobile phone however requires a different approach. For example, due to the mobile use context and the small screen size, the way of presenting information must be reconsidered, and also the input process should be reconsidered in light of the input facilities of mobile devices.

    When developing the cell-phone based prototype the main focus however, has been on the technical solution. The users‟ needs and context needs to be furthered studied and considered in order to develop the user interaction. Our group is going to work with this and find out as much as possible about what needs to be done/ changed.

    Background

    In the western world there is a general trend towards e-Government, witch is use of information and

    communication technology (ICT) to exchange information and services with citizens, businesses,

    and other arms of the government. The most important anticipated benefits of e-government include improved efficiency, convenience, and better accessibility of public services. The development and implementation of e-government involves consideration of its effects such as environmental, social, cultural, educational, and consumer issues. In addition e-inclusion and e-accessibility has become an important policy focus internationally. This is about the integration of all users into the Information Society, i.e. older people, people with disabilities and also people placed in “impaired environments”. It is seen as essential that mainstream products and services are designed to be accessible to as broad a range of users as possible. Such design strategies is called "Design for All". “Universal design”, "accessible design" or "universal access” are considered to be similar approaches.

    At EU level e-Inclusion is part of the third pillar of the i2010 policy initiative, and e-accessibility is

    addressed in the EU‟s Public Procurement Directive 2004/18/EC. Also the Norwegian public procurement legislation has been changed to correspond to the EU Directive. According to this legislation, universal design (among other things) shall be considered during the planning of each procurement. This law was implemented 1st of January 2007.

    The tax card prototype for mobile phones

    Based on information in a tax deduction card (hereafter called tax card), employers in Norway are obliged to deduct and withhold tax from the salary of each employee before payment of wages. The local tax assessment office issues tax cards on the basis of information regarding expected net income and net wealth. Normally, the tax card is automatically produced by the computer system of the Tax Administration and sent by mail to all potential tax payers once a year (in December). It is then the responsibility of each individual to validate the information in the tax card. If the information is not correct, new and correct information should be reported to the local tax office, and the employee must apply for a new tax card. This can be done through several channels, by visiting the local tax office, by filling in and send a paper form, or by using the Internet service for

changing tax card. Changes in the level of income, higher or lower loans, changes in family

    situation etc, are common reasons for appliance for a new tax card.

    The employee must deliver the tax card to the employer who then updates the salary system. If he

    employer has not received the tax card 50 percent tax will be withheld from the salary.

    In the existing Internet application for changing tax cards, it is possible to make changes to a large

    number of entries in each taxpayer‟s information base. There are many events that may lead to changes in an individual‟s tax card. Often there are several

    changes at the same time, and sometimes it is necessary to find and submit documentation. The web

    application for changing tax card has 42 possible input fields. In the tax card prototype for mobile

    phones a few and relatively straight forward cases that commonly lead to a change in the tax

    calculations were selected. The prototype runs using IP protocol over the GSM/GPRS mobile

    network. The application has two parts, one running as a service at a central server, and one part

    running on the mobile phone. Information and help messages are stored as audio (MP3), and are

    played by the phone‟s built in MP3 player. Currently the audio files are included in the application, but there are plans to use streaming audio in future versions. In addition to reducing the size of the

    client application this will ease the use of several languages (Bokmål, Nynorsk, Sami and foreign)

    and make it easier to change the help and information of the application. As tax rules may change

    slightly each year it may be possible to change the information without having to change the whole

    application.

    In the mobile tax card application, prefilled information about the tax payer is displayed. The user

    then has the opportunity to enter new or updated information. After the system has performed all

    needed checks and the user has approved that the entered information is correct, the tax calculation

    is initiated. Then the results are presented and the user is informed about the results and whether

    he/she will receive a new tax card.

    There are several aspects that influence the user experience and adoption of mobile services. A

    natural question is whether changing tax cards on a mobile phone is a good idea. In this study we

    will try to shed light on this question, in addition to doing an evaluation of the human computer

    interaction. For example, due to the mobile use context and the small screen size, the way of

    presenting information must be considered, and also the registration process should be reconsidered

    in light of the input facilities of mobile devices. Below we have presented some of the interaction

    features that we will study.

    Fig. 1. Task cards and marking of the active card.

    The application is organized in several task cards.

    The number of the active card is marked. The

    user navigates horizontally by using navigation

    buttons (arrows) or a joy stick.

    Fig. 2. Elastic scroll bar showing the relative

    position.

    Within one task the information may often be

    more comprehensive than the size of the screen.

    Only vertical scrolling is possible, and the

    position is indicated by a scroll bar. The size of

    the scrollbar indicates the relative size of the

    visible content in contrast to the available content.

    Also for vertical navigation the user can apply the

    joystick or the navigation buttons.

    Fig.3. Working area is accentuated by a frame.

    A focal frame shows the active area of input or

    output as illustrated in Figure 5. Context sensitive

    help, that is information related to the focal frame,

    is available at the bottom left soft key.

    Fig. 4 Changes in the colour scheme indicate

    invalid input; input field containing „12‟ and card

    number „4‟.

    A colour scheme indicates invalid or incomplete

    input. The colour scheme changes (here from red

    to black), when the task is completed correctly.

    The intention is to give the user an overview of

    which cards are not completed, and feedback about

    the correctness of the input data.

Theory

    The impulse to design

    Designing is a creative process involving problem definition, exploration, idea generation and

    analysis in successive and repeated cycles where the designer utilizes his creativity for the purpose

    of idea selection and implementation. Design has also been described as being that area of human

    experience, skill and knowledge which is concerned with man‟s ability to mould his environment to

    suit his material and spiritual needs (Archer, B 1973).

    Interactive design may also be described as a prescriptive process that offers us a framework to

    visualise how ideas develop and how the raw material can be brought together into a useable

    interface.

    This was also described by (Sharp et al, 2002) as designing interactive products to support people in

    their everyday and working lives. The goal of this process is to utilize available interface as

    embedded in the technology of the relevant time (technology determined) to develop usable

products.

    It breaks down the complexity of the whole into smaller units of tangible tasks.

    This innovation process is often directed by either the market or the producer thus creating two

    antagonistic forces: Technology or Supply push from developers, suppliers and Market or Demand

    pull as identified by the customer‟s wants and needs.

    The task of the designer is to develop a design format that satisfies the requirements of both sides

    simultaneously.

    User “Understanding” – Establishing requirements

    What sort of knowledge the designer needs?

    The designer needs to build a set of information sets relating to both the nature of the problem and

    the feasibility of a good solution.

    He often relies on:

    ? Knowledge derived from learning and experience as guided by his own “personal values”

    ? The instruments and techniques available at that particular time. Limitations here are

    determined by the scientific information available and the philosophy associated to society

    and culture of the relevant time… “what is important to people”

    ? How to combine science and philosophy to a collective technology understanding of “ how

    the world is “ The formal starting point for developing a new product is the “design brief” as determined by the

    specific client. This offers the designer problem clarifications related to finding a good solution.

    A design brief has to address the purpose of the design, give key details and specifications, better be

    accurate (not too vague) so that the designer knows where to start, and it better not be so precise

    (constraining) as to limit innovation.

    The idea here is design to change and not design to last. This gives the product an added advantage

    and allows for adaptability to meet new requirements.

    What makes good design?

    There is no absolute right answer in design.

    It is a question of being relative to what!

    So, assuming the product satisfies the technical specifications required , the merits of design may be

    relative to those involved and how do they see the product in terms of function and whether it

    satisfies the needs of both the producers and users or not..

    Including and satisfying both criteria “it sells well” and “it works well” in the same product is often

    a demanding task that is difficult to achieve

    Obtaining information

    Depending on the designer‟s needs various information may be obtained by researching into

    existing books, manuals, databases and websites. Factual information may also be obtained through

    interviews, surveys, questionnaires and examining similar products in the market with respect to

    their design, structure, manufacture, performance and price.

    In our case, we chose interviews as a guiding parameter for the possible “success or failure” of the

tax application.

    [[[ more about interviews come later on ]]]

    Is there a typical user?

    In their Popular Culture: An Introductory Text, (Jack Nachbar and Kevin Lause) describe a stereotype is a standardized conception or image of a specific group of people or objects. Developed stereotype relationships are often simpler than reality itself and they are acquired second-hand: people acquire (and absorb) stereotypes from cultural mediators rather than from their own direct experience with the groups being stereotyped.

    Stereotypes are also false. Some are less false than others, since an individual is different from all other individuals by definition, stereotypes are a logical impossibility. They are also resistant to change.

    Nachbar and Lause also refer to stereotypes are not merely descriptions of the way a culture views a specific group of people, but are also often prescriptions as well - thumbnail sketches of how a group of people is perceived and how members of that group perceive themselves. Stereotypes make reality easier to deal with because they simplify the complexities that make people unique, and this simplification reflects important beliefs and values as well thus encouraging people to internalize a cultural image, as their goal. Through network participation with other actors a power structure is achieved and maintained (Karasti H 2003).

    Concepts of evaluation

    Before introducing products to markets, it is necessary to evaluate the design in terms of its performance, reliability, maintainability and its usability.

    The reference point here is whether the product fits into the design criteria as defined by the design brief or not.

    Even though the user‟s needs are considered during the process, it is very easy to over-generalize

    and ultimately design for “the typical user”.

    Differences in environmental and market factors, ethnic variations and cultural perceptions make it very difficult to characterise any user as being a typical user.

    The product itself may be tested for inducing necessary improvements by means of for example user trips, where one takes a ”trip” through the whole process as a critical user, and/or perform “user research” where a “quick and dirty” evaluation is done where the emphasis is on fast input to the design process through informal feedback from users rather than documented and detailed findings.

    One could also perform usability testing and field studies by selecting a group of people and align them as “experienced users” that evaluate the use of the product with respect to pre-determined

    criteria and then give feedback to the designer/ producer.

    This gives valuable information that is relevant to improved modifications of the product before the final format is introduced to the market.

    Consumer tests may ultimately be utilized by various consumer associations to provide guidance for consumer by comparative testing based on similar sets of criteria, with respect to similar products in the market.

    Price here is a factor that is often addressed in such comparisons.

    Predictive evaluation by experts may also be utilised through theoretical based models where the user need not be physically present.

This is a quick, inexpensive and convenient evaluating method to perform.

    References:

    Archer,B (1973) “The Need for Design Education.” Royal College of Art

    Sharp, Helen, Rogers, Yvonne, Preece, Jennifer J. (2002): Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction. John Wiley and Sons

    Nachbar Jack, Lause Kevin (1992) “Popular Culture: An Introductory Text” (4): 236-244

    Method

    There are different methods to get what we want. Which methods to use depends on many things, like time and economical resources, manpower, competance and so on.

    We are a small student group, and thus don't have a lot of funding and manpower. Therefore, we will conduct interviews and heuristic tests.

    First we will run the heuristic tests on our selves, both to find errors and to get to know the application. Then we will interview some people to get answers to simple questions like ?Are you familiar with mobile services?? and similar.

    After we have interviewed theese people, we will run the heuristic test on them too. The interview

    How will we do this?

    We will follow an interview guide which we have made when we conduct the interviews. This guide will also contain guidelines for the heuristic tests. It is currently four pages of questions and guidelines, and will be improved. This improvement is nessesary because we do not know if all the questions that we have prepared are relevant before we have access to the version of the mobile application that we shall test.

    It consists of generic questions about the persons experience with cell phones, some basic information about what we are going to test, specific questions about the functions, design and so on, and some questions that we will ask after the heuristic test has been performed. Who will we interview?

    There are two usergroups that we will focus on; youth and people in the age of 35-45.We will try our best to get three men and three women in each group, so that we get as many perspectives as possible without having to conduct too many interviews.

    We have contacted Sogn Vidregående Skole, and they have given us permission to interview some of the students. This takes care of the youth usergroup. We will also ask people we know in the other usergroup if they can spare some time.

    What equipment will we use?

    We will buy a cell phone compatible with the mobile application, and also get a ?tvilling-sim? subscription. One of the two sim cards will be put in the cell phone we buy. Then people who have cell phones that doesn't support the application can use this cell phone. If the people we ask actually has a cell phone that supports the application, then they can put the other sim card in their cell phone and download the application through this (so that they do not have to pay for downloading). We will also use a sound recorder (mp3 player probably) to record whatever the person we

interview says. Other than that, we will use a notebook and a pen to write down the results. That's

    about it.

    Heuristic evaluation

    Heuristic evaluation is a quick, cheap and easy technique for finding usability problems in a user-

    interface or product. The technique is developed by Jacob Nielsen and his colleagues. By using a

    predefined set of rules or “heuristics”, a small set of evaluators examines and judge the product

    based upon these rules.

    The heuristics are typically looking much like well-known high-level design principles, but often

    they must be adjusted to the particular application or product to be evaluated. In our case we must

    probably look into this to see what kind of special considerations need to be taken for the mobile

    application.

    Based on Nielsen‟s work, Rogers, Sharp and Preece list some questions to be addressed when doing

    an evaluation;

    ? Visibility of system status

    Are users kept informed about what is going on?

    Is appropriate feedback provided within reasonable time about a user‟s action?

    ? Match between system and the real world

    Is the language used at the interface simple?

    Are the words, phrases and concepts used familiar to the user?

    ? User control and freedom

    Are there ways of allowing users to easily escape from places they unexpectedly find

    them self in?

    ? Consistency and standards

    Are the ways of performing similar actions consistent?

    ? Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors

    Are errors messages helpful?

    Do they use plain language to describe the nature of the problem and suggest a way

    of solving it?

    ? Error prevention

    Is it easy to make errors?

    If this is so why?

    ? Recognition rather than recall

    Are objects, actions and options always visible?

    ? Flexibility and efficient of use

    Have accelerators been provided that allow more experienced users to carry out task

    more quickly?

    ? Aesthetic and minimalist design

    Is any unnecessary or irrelevant information provided?

    ? Help and documentation

    Is help information provided that can be easily searched and easily followed?

    Heuristic evaluation can be done by a single evaluator, but as different persons tend to find different problems this is by no means optimal. Nielsen (ref article Nielsen) has shown that normally will 5 persons be sufficient to find 75% of the usability problems in an application.

    The heuristic evaluation can be seen as a process of three stages. First the heuristics are made and the evaluators are told what to do. Then the evaluators independently inspect the application using the heuristics as their guideline. Normally the interface will be inspected more than once, as there are no rush or time pressure during the evaluation. When the individual evaluations are done, the participants come together to discuss their findings. The problems are listed and the group tries to come up with solutions to the problems.

    In our case we are 5 persons doing the evaluation (in addition to the people we interview); normally this number is large enough to find most of the usability problems in the prototype. References:

    Jacob Nielsen: How to Conduct a Heuristic Evaluation

    http:/www.usit.com/papers/heuristic/heuristic_evaluation.html

    Yvonne Rogers, Helen Sharp and Jeniffer Preece: Interaction Design: beyond human-computer interaction, 2. utgave. Wiley . ISBN: 0-470-01866-6

    Results

    This part is to be filled out when we have the results from the tests described above. Discussion

    Mobile vs. Stationary

    This part is to be filled out later. Among others, we will discuss the following topics:

    ? Personal preference

    ? Security

    ? Privacy

    ? Efficiency

    Limitation of results

    Usergroups

    The Skattekort application which we are going to run user tests on is meant to be used by

    everyone who owns a new mobile telephone. This is of course too many so we have limited it to two groups.

    The first group is teenagers on the first year of Sogn Videregående Skole the age will be around 16-17. We want to pick out 6 random persons from this class, 3 boys and 3 girls.After a discussion we decided to pick out persons with relatively new mobile phones which can run our application on their own phones.

    We have chosen this group based on our theory that teenagers are more willing to try out new things especially on their mobile phones. And they want to have the new cool stuff first. Another argument is that this teenager needs to get a new tax card when they are starting at their new

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