Primary Problem: Email

From the four problem areas, we decided to address the issue of Email. Our secondary choice had been the calendar functionality but we felt that email afforded the best opportunity to address not only the key issue of email but also the calendar, navigation and user confidence issues, through the standardisation and consistency of user interface controls and the integration of calendar event functionality within email. We used the following research techniques and tools to clearly define and record the key issues with the current email system

Experience map

Our experience map for using the current email system allowed us record in detail Good & bad User reviews, detailed actions taken by users when performing tasks and the various objects involved in the task. Previous user experience maps had dealt with Blackboard Learn as a whole while this dealt with email specifically.

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Email Experience Map
Email Experience Map.  Full size experience map 

User journey maps

Our user journey map for the task of sending an email allowed us to map out the user’s journey while completing the task. Using the map we recorded the various tasks that Dave (our primary persona) would need to carry out. Although useful and definitely an aid it was still at quite a high level and did not identify all the possible tasks which would need to be preformed, this became quickly apparent when we got to the paper prototyping stage.

Email User Journey Map
Email User Journey Map, Full size user journey map

Task Analysis

With a user journey map defined we also carried out three task analysis studies,  sending and email &  receiving an email as well as creating and editing a group. Due to time constraints it was not possible to carry a full task analysis of all the tasks that make up the the email system.

Read Email Task
Read Email Task, Full size user task map
Send Email Task
Send Email Task, Full size user task map
Task Group
Create/Edit Group Task, Full size user task map

Objects & Functions

Both the user journey map and the task analysis maps where used to help in generating the objects and functions map. This allowed us to define what functionality and information would be revealed to the user when using the email system, while also understanding the relationship between objects, e.g  which data object act as containers for other data objects. (Cooper et al., 2014)

Objects & Functions Map
Objects & Functions Map, Full size objects & functions map

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