Is this project an undergraduate, graduate, or faculty project?

Undergraduate

group

Authors' Class Standing

Donald Ventrice Senior Nathan Walters Graduate Student John Capps Graduate Student Shivani Patel Senior Stephen Rice Professor Scott Winter Professor

Lead Presenter's Name

Donald Ventrice

Faculty Mentor Name

Stephen Rice

Abstract

Background: The Amazon Echo is a home assistant device which allows people to interact verbally with online software tools or smart home devices and electronics. The purpose of this study was to test the usability of the device by conducting a variety of user-centered analyses. Method: Researchers performed a usability heuristics evaluation to gain an understanding of the system’s features and functions from a top-down perspective. An Out of Box Experience (OOBE) was conducted to capture users’ attitude of the device. Next, several tasks were performed which represent users' everyday interactions with these devices. Participants then completed the system usability scale (SUS) to rate their experience. Results: Time on task was measured to analyze quantitative data and participants were asked to rate the difficulty of each task. Preliminary results indicate a setup time of approximately five minutes. Microsoft product reaction cards were used to capture initial and post-trial reactions to the device. Easy to use and efficient are two common terms appearing in the participant's explanation of their feeling towards using the device. Conclusions: By collecting this information, our research team can paint an entire picture explaining benefits and flaws encountered by users and experts alike.

Did this research project receive funding support (Spark or Ignite Grants) from the Office of Undergraduate Research?

Yes, Spark Grant

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The Amazon Echo: Usability Evaluation

Background: The Amazon Echo is a home assistant device which allows people to interact verbally with online software tools or smart home devices and electronics. The purpose of this study was to test the usability of the device by conducting a variety of user-centered analyses. Method: Researchers performed a usability heuristics evaluation to gain an understanding of the system’s features and functions from a top-down perspective. An Out of Box Experience (OOBE) was conducted to capture users’ attitude of the device. Next, several tasks were performed which represent users' everyday interactions with these devices. Participants then completed the system usability scale (SUS) to rate their experience. Results: Time on task was measured to analyze quantitative data and participants were asked to rate the difficulty of each task. Preliminary results indicate a setup time of approximately five minutes. Microsoft product reaction cards were used to capture initial and post-trial reactions to the device. Easy to use and efficient are two common terms appearing in the participant's explanation of their feeling towards using the device. Conclusions: By collecting this information, our research team can paint an entire picture explaining benefits and flaws encountered by users and experts alike.

 

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