Defining and Motivating a Scope

Added on - Sep 2019

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Defining and Motivating a ScopeDevelop an argument that claims it is timely, important and of general interest to evaluate yourchosen topic. Gather evidence from e.g. the Internet, and the ux literature e.g. to support your argument.Ask workshop helpers to suggest keywords for your searches, or to suggest kinds of literature thatmight be relevant.Your argument is a construction – you need to work out how claims link together, and how otherpeople’s work isrelevant.Frequently Asked QuestionsQ: What makes my topic important?The strongest argument is to use facts and figures about real world, business trends to claim all ofthe following:Industrial Beneficiary: a specific real company needs to improve ease of use to make theirbusiness more profitably, create more value for their customers.General interest: your problem is related to many other problems. For example,information seeking is a common task, which occurs during many different contexts, fromshopping, to scholarly research/discover, and general fact-finding. Your work will berelevant to many other contexts, though not directly applicable, of course. Word, excel,Visual Studio, KU library, M&S website all have filtering controls.Scale: your problem is large in scale, in terms of usage/number of users worldwide e.g.Google search engine results page.Innovation: your topic is still developing, so its actual interest, importance and beneficiariesare likely to be more than they are now e.g. any application for iPadGood definitions of scopeClearly distinguish your topic, from other possible topics it could have been confused with.For example, you are concerned with:ousers are novice programmers only, not experts;osearching for multimedia information resources, not just journal articles.Highlight the features of your topic that are particularly important in your case. Forexample level of user knowledge (novice vs expert) is often important for advanced,technical applications, such as database management tools. In contrast, for self-servicephoto booths, technical knowledge of photography is not so important – in the photo-boothcase, the expectations of the photobooth process is probably most important.
Summarises and locates this project, without going into great detail (which pre-empts theanalysis stage)Q: What kind of ‘usability’ issue would you expect to encounter with <insertyour topic>?TopicKind of IssueNovice users attempting complex tasksInterface is unclear , ‘cluttered’, and unhelpfulDesk top applications for experienced workersEfficiency of layout, appropriate componentselection; learnability/explorability;memorabilityMobile applicationsConvenient access to most importantfunctionality; fit with social practices(acceptability)Web sites for general publicDoes not appeal to, or meet expectations of,some market segments; not as good as acompetitor site;Multimodal, multimedia applicationsFlexibility (support for various patterns of use)GroupwareImplications for co-ordination and patterns ofcommunication within the groupWhen you inspect the interface yourself, and interview users about the problems that they haveencountered, do the issues identified cluster together? can they be grouped together in any way?What qualities of interaction and effectiveness criteria are particularly relevant to your problem? ...Learnability? Efficiency? Engagement? What is important toyourusers? What kind of users are youconcerned with? What kind of tasks do they perform?Q: How should I structure the Introduction & Background section?There is no single ‘universally best’ answer – it reflects your topic and they are all different inimportant ways.SectionExampleCurrent Trends/Situation. Outline real worldbusiness and technology developments concerningmarket share, popularity, availability, sophistication.Emerging markets, dominant trading positions, wavesof innovation.)“Following many mis-selling scams, the generalpublic are increasingly buying stocks and bondsdirectly over the Internet rather than throughintermediaries, such as Personal FinancialAdvisers. ..... “<Add References business growth rates, identifycompanies>Identify your topic - the types of users, tasks, contextsof use, software and hardware, lets users plan their life, such assetting a date at which to retire, and then
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