Prototype Test Preparation

I’m preparing to do a paper prototype test for the new GNOME settings application.  My last post revealed the scenarios that I came up with while looking over the proposed settings changes.  Hopefully these scenarios reflect real user behavior and interactions with settings.  I tried to pull the scenarios from my experience using GNOME and what I saw as the interesting or challenging aspects of the changes to settings.

Now I have taken those 23 scenarios and written out the specific user tasks that are contained in each instance.  Here are those tasks as I see them:

Paper Prototype Scenario Tasks

1. You set an alarm on your laptop.  Now you want to make sure that it will be loud enough to hear from across the room.  Where would you look in the settings app to change the volume of the alarm?

2. You want to simultaneously be to able to view your web browser and a text editor where you are working on a document.  You have two monitors and want to spread your workspace across them.  Which setting would you use to enable this function?

3.  Sometimes working on the computer at night keeps you up late even after you’re done working. You enabled sleep assistance last night when you had to work late.  Now you want to change the screen color back to normal because it is daytime.  Where in settings would you think to go first to turn off the sleep assistance button?

4. You have the WiFi password for your favorite local coffee shop saved on your computer.  While you are there one day working on your laptop the person next to you asks if you know the WiFi password.  Where in settings would you look to locate the saved password in order to share it?

5. You are about to watch a movie on your computer.  The internal sound is too low so you get out a Bluetooth speaker.  Where in the settings app would you go to connect the speaker to your computer?

6. You are getting ready to record a song that you just wrote.  You connect a USB microphone into your computer.  Where would you go to raise the volume on the microphone?

7. You’re at the office trying to get work done.  The WiFi has gone down three times already today and you are frustrated with waiting.  You have an Ethernet cable plugged in and set up already, where would you look in the settings to switch over from WiFi to Ethernet?

8.  You are a very skilled typist.  You notice that a lag on your keyboard and want to speed up the computers’ response to your key strokes.  Where would you look in the settings app for a way to change the keyboard speed?

9. You are going out of town for a week and having a friend housesit for you.  She wants to use your desktop computer while you are gone and you are happy to oblige.  Your friend’s native language is Spanish while yours is English.  You think it would be nice to set your computer to Spanish for her so that she can use it more efficiently.  Where would you look to switch the language to Spanish?

10.  You know that data isn’t as safe when you are on public networks connected to the internet.  You have a VPN configured to use when you are out in public.  You are working at a coffee shop and want to turn on your VPN.  Where would you look in settings to do this?

11.  In a few minutes you are expected to be in a two hour long lecture.  You want to take notes on your laptop during the talk.  Where in settings would you look to see how much battery charge you have left in order to know whether you have to run to your car and get the charger before the lecture starts?

12.  You’re at the office and you want to show a work presentation with a projector.  Which Setting would you try first to connect your laptop to the projector?

13.  You’re family member left himself logged into the house computer.  Which setting would you try to switch over to your user account?

14.  You want to print out a resume on nice paper.  One of your two printers has some high quality paper already loaded into the tray, but it is not the printer that your computer is connected to by default.  Where in settings would you look to connect to this other printer?

15.  You just bought a new printer.  Which setting would you choose first to connect the new printer to your computer over wifi?

16.  You are living abroad for several months in a country with a time zone 6 hours ahead of yours.  Where in setting would you go to adjust the time zone to reflect your new location?

17.  You are listening to music on your computer.  At the same time, you are torrenting a number of files.  You don’t want the notification sound to disrupt your music each time a file successfully downloads.  Which setting would you try first to mute the volume of the notification?

18.  You just changed the WiFi password for your home network.  Where in the settings app would you go to replace the old WiFi password with the new one?

19.  You are tired of looking at the default lock screen image on your computer.  Where would you look first in the settings application in order to replace the lock screen image with a picture of your family that you have saved on your computer?

20.  You find that you don’t like only having 5 minutes of idleness before your screen locks on your system.  Where in the settings would you go first to adjust the wait time from 5 to 10 minutes.

21.  You plugged headphones into your laptop to listen to music.  You can’t really hear anything now.  Where in settings would you try first to adjust the volume on your headphones?

22.  You want to be able to scroll with two fingers on your touchpad.  Which setting would you try first to enable this scrolling on your touchpad?

23.  You often share your home computer with friends and guests.  You want them to have access to your guest network, but not your private one?  Which setting would you try first to set the WiFi to connect to the guest network by default?


Let me know if you have any thoughts on how well these scenario tasks reflect the settings update for GNOME.  Next I’ll be posting the pre-test introduction and follow up questions.  We’re well on our way to getting some useful testing information for GNOME settings!


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