Project 2: Contextual Inquiry and Contextual Analysis

Team #2
Community Jukebox (Formally Art Jukebox)
Client – CHCI Community

This project was to perform a contextual inquiry so we can understand existing client work and information sharing strategies. We performed interviews and observations of different user roles within the CHCI and produced a WAAD from the work activity notes derived from our raw contextual notes.

Sruthi Iyer, Sheriff Jolaoso, and Siroberto Scerbo
CS/ISE 5714 – Spring 2013

Table of Contents

Concept and Scope of Community Jukebox

Concept Statement

Community Jukebox (CJ) is a distributed presentation system, that will be installed in the CRC. Patrons will engage and interact with each other by contributing different media, from the web or their own collections,which CJ will display. The CRC will have a “network” of display thats will enable multiple individuals to enjoy the same content. Much like a jukebox, users will make their request for content and the system will schedule the media that it will display. However, for CJ, the requests are made via web-enabled devices. Audience members can vote / indicate they like certain content which will have affect on current and future scheduling. Community jukebox builds community while providing patrons an opportunity to entertain themselves and each other.

Tailoring the Scope

The initial project proposal was formulated with the Virginia Tech student community as a whole so it was meant to develop a sense a community among the dining halls however when the task was to identify the different user classes, it made more sense to narrow the scope of the project to a smaller, more tightly knit community which is why the Jukebox is now going to be designed only for the CHCI at the Knowledge Works 2 building of the CRC where  students, faculty and administration people constitute the community.

Interviews with Client Representatives

Prepping for the Interview

We had an initial set of questions for the students who visited the dining halls but after altering the scope of the project, the questions had to be modified to suit the community within the CHCI instead. Many questions were also added as the scope started taking a well-defined coherent shape. So we prepared to interview people representing each user class we identified within the CHCI community. The questions were themselves categorized into 3 sections that would elicit different responses from the interviewed community members. The questions were decided upon keeping in mind that the interviewed members would not be able to gauge what kind of system we intend to design. They would only be told that our project involved building community within the CHCI.

Determining Who to Interview

Our scope further defined the client representatives for the project to be people who frequented CHCI. This included graduate students with desks in CHCI, faculty with offices in CHCI, and the administrative office staff located in CHCI. Our specific interviewees were:

Sharon Kinder-Potter

Graduate Program Coordinator
Office in KWII/CHCI
Sharon is in her second year as graduate program coordinator. Some of her duties include disseminating information to students and faculty via email and sending and receiving information from the graduate department and computer science department.

Sharon Chu

Third year Ph.D. student in HCI
Workspace in KWII/CHCI
Sharon is a third year Ph.D. student working with Dr. Quek. Her research is in the role of the technological medium in children’s creative process in the context of creative storytelling.

Ankit Ahuja

2nd year Masters student in HCI
Workspace in KWII/CHCI
Ankit is a second year Masters student working with Dr. Perez-Quinones. His research is in personal information management.

Dr. Andrea Kavanaugh

Senior Research Assistant, Associate Professor
Office in KWII/CHCI
Dr. Kavanaugh has been an associate professor in CHCI since 2002, working in the area of social computing, including communication behavior and effects, and development communication (communication and information technology use and effects in developing countries). Current research funded by the National Science Foundation includes “Participation on the Town Square in the Era of Web 2.0″ ( and “Digital Library Network for Crisis, Tragedy and Recovery” (

We felt that interviewing these four people would provide enough depth, for we had covered all basis of the type of people who commonly occupy the CHCI, and we have defined these people as our users.

Our Initial Interview Questions

  1. Do you feel close to the community?
  2. Do you currently do anything to get to know the people in the community better?
  3. Do you normally work/eat with a group or by yourself?
  4. What is an activity that you feel would facilitate conversation or getting to know people better?
  5. Do you feel a sense of community while you are here? Why or why not?
  6. What things would make you feel closer to the people here?
  7. Would you like to make a more personal connection to this community?
  8. Do you share information between groups?
  9. What type of information?
  10. What different groups do you share this information with?
  11. Would you be comfortable having others see any of this information?
  12. How do you currently share this information?
  13. Do you use reddit / slashdot / or another aggregator community or forum?
  14. What do you like about that aggregator community or forum?

Initial Contact with Client Representatives

Sharon Kinder-Potter interview

In interviewing Mrs. Kinder-Potter, we found she was very amiable and we learned about how she felt about the CHCI community as well as how she shared information amongst different groups of people. She was avid in expressing that she enjoyed the open house event held at the CHCI, where she was able to communicate with students and faculty and know more about what’s going on in the department and felt that this would facilitate more of a community vibe in the CHCI. She also stated that a good way for people to get to know one another in the CHCI would be to just be more friendly and outgoing.

In terms of information sharing, we found that she disseminates and receives information from many sources. Most information she sends out is to students about upcoming events and deadlines for forms. She also finds that she sends information intra-office sometimes, forwarding social information like funny images. She feels that there is some social information that can be shared with some and not with others though, so she is cautious in social information dissemination.

Ankit Ahuja Interview

Ankit was excited about being an interviewee, and was very helpful in determining a student’s perspective of the CHCI. He felt that currently the CHCI is a fragmented community and with most students not working in the building difficult to interact. The majority of the people he knew where either in his lab or introduced to him through other friends. Nevertheless he felt a personal connection with the CHCI community, especially the students he talks to more often.

As a social media user, Ankit shares a lot of information publicly through Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.  For sharing with fellow students he mostly shares through listservs, although he would like a dedicated channel for posting to the entire CHCI.

Sharon Chu Interview

Sharon was very interested in participating in the interview when she heard that it was a project for fostering and building community within the CHCI. She was very willing to help and answer all the questions she was asked during the interview. She also hopes that we get to build the system we are designing

Dr. Kavanaugh Interview

Dr. Kavanaugh was very gracious to give us time to interview her for a faculty perspective. She has been a member of the CHCI since inception and has seen many changes to the community. The majority of her interaction with other CHCI members is through social events, seminars, and referrals from colleagues / students.

Her information sharing habits are like the other client representatives–mostly text through emails via listservs. Most of the information she sends isn’t necessarily private and could benefit other recipients by providing different avenues for research.


Collecting Raw Contextual Data

The manner in which we acquired raw contextual data was in two main forms–interviews and photos. In the interviews we were able to record audio, and for some of our interviews video, while taking notes and asking questions. This was an effective raw contextual data acquisition process because we were able to revisit the notes in context with the actual interview recording on the spot. An example of one of our interviews is below:

Photos of the current CHCI office space were the second form of contextual data we. The main purpose of doing this was to see how information was being disseminated and where information could be located for mass dissemination. The photos also allowed us to see the office space where our clients worked, so that our provided solution could be cultivated for the CHCI. Below are samples of some photos that we took of the CHCI space:

Sample Task Data

From our interviews, we learned that the majority of information is sharing through emails.  Here is a selection of emails from different work roles:


[Gradstudents] Reminder: CSRC Career Fair TODAY

Libby Bradford <>
to cs-undg, cs-interest, bburg-gradstud.



You are cordially invited to attend the CSRC Spring Career Fair today, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Commonwealth Ballroom of Squires Student Center.

Please mark your calendar and don’t miss this exciting event. This is a career fair just for CS students, and is a wonderful opportunity to make connections with our corporate partners that can lead to full-time employment after graduation or to internships and co-ops during your time at Virginia Tech. These companies are here because they want to hire our students, so please take advantage of this opportunity.


Please come in business casual attire with plenty of copies of your resume in hand. Light refreshments will be served from 4:00 and 6:00.


I’ve posted helpful suggestions for preparing for the event at You can also find company information at this page. You can also download a PDF file of all company information and the booth layout to take with you to the career fair.


Companies not planning to attend: Cisco, Near Infinity, Pariveda Solutions, PDRi, Qualcomm, Readyforce, Solers, Sphere of Influence, and Zeta Associates.


Student check in will be just outside the Commonwealth Ballroom. Make sure to attend the event, pick up your name tag, and drop your name tag back by the check-in desk as you leave. The CSRC will be using those returned name tags to select door prizes.


If you’ve been to the career fair before, you may remember a huge pile of coats and backpacks near the door. The pile of coats and backpacks constitutes a fire hazard and we must use a separate room for coat and backpack check, per Squires Student Center. CSRC coat and backpack check is located in the Williamsburg Room (around the corner from the Commonwealth Ballroom.)

We look forward to seeing you at the event!
Ms. Bradford
Libby G. Bradford
Director of External Relations and Undergraduate


[Gradstudents] Fwd: Intel On Campus February 18-19, 2013 – Flyers Attached

Eric Ragan <>
to bburg-gradstud.


Intel info session for PhD students Monday at 7:30
Free food

Lavery Hall 330


See attached flyers for more info.

———- Forwarded message ———-

Hi All,
I am attaching two flyers. One is specifically for our tech talk to PhD students and the other is our snapshot of events we will be participating in during our visit next week.


I appreciate your help in distributing these flyers out to the students.


I hope to see you next week!!

Tohbi Thomas
Campus Relations Manager
Texas A&M, UCLA, Virginia Tech
US College Team, Intel Corporation


2 attachments — Download all attachments
Spring 2013 VT LTD Tech Talk flyer students final.docx


[Gradstudents] plans of study
Manuel A Perez-Quinones <>
to gradstudents



I sent a note yesterday to students “missing” their plan of study.


Note that I got your names from a report from the university. So, if
you have turned in the plan of study in our department this semester,
then you are ok. It takes 2-3 weeks for all the approvals to navigate
the system.


No need to go bother Sharon if you already turned it in.

If however, you turned your PoS last semester or earlier and received
a note from me, then let me know.




PS those of you in my UE class can sit back and enjoy the ironies of
this mess… :)


Manuel A. Perez-Quinones, DSc

Raw Data Notes

Here is a sample of some of the raw data we collect from the interviews.

Interview with Dr. Kavanaugh

  1. Do you feel close to the CHCI community? (combine w/ Q6.)
    1. Yes, personal and professional depending on the indivuals
  2. Do you currently do anything to get to know the people in the CHCI community better?
    1. Receptions, talk with the faculty.
    2. Attending talks.
    3. Refereall from other peoples
      1. based on skills or interests
    4. no social interaction with office people
      1. DiDi – moare interaaction by staying in touch
      2. more professional with the font office
    5. students – more working directly with
      1. gatherings at her house – more casual environment
  3. What would be some ways for you to get to know people in the CHCI community better? (combine w/Q7, ask after Q7)
    1. lunch with students
      1. faculty could join
      2. no agenda – or prescribed discussion
      3. more casual settings
      4. once a month or twice
      5. based on legacy
    2. use website
      1. give more information
      2. more news and announcements
    3. visualization of faculty and students
      1. who is what lab, who si working with who
      2. papers that would be written
      3. generated from existing content
    4. affiliated faculty who are not in this building
      1. easily digestible information is key

Interview with Sharon Chu

Sharon Chu's Interview

Building the WAAD

The process of building the WAAD started with each of us creating work activity notes based on our raw contextual data, mainly the interviews. Afterwards, we came together and began to cluster our work activity notes with post-its.

We found that we had a few small clusters with about 2-5 work activity notes, and a couple of large clusters with about 7-10 work activity notes. We then attempted to label the clusters while reconfiguring where to place some work activity notes. Once this was done, we found that we had eight clusters: information sources, types of information shared within CHCI, types of information shared outside of CHCI, privacy of shared information, visualization of accessed information, filtering of accessed information, colocation and community, and where information is shared to.

These clusters were then put into groups describing an overarching fact about them. That grouping is as followed:

  • Information: information sources, types of information shared within CHCI, and types of information shared outside of CHCI
  • Sharing: privacy of shared information and where information is shared
  • Information Access: visualization of accessed information and filtering of accessed information
  • Co-location: co-location and community

Definition of Major Work Roles

These are the work roles we defined for the system:

  • CHCI students – CHCI students are graduate students who have office and/or laboratory space in the CHCI.
  • CHCI faculty – CHCI faculty is composed of professors in that have office and/or laboratory space in the CHCI.
  • CHCI administrative staff – CHCI administrative staff is composed of the staff that works in the front office in the CHCI. Some of this staff is composed of general computer science program faculty.

The entities that interact with the system from the outside are:

  • Graduate department – The graduate department is the department that oversees all graduate school activity at Virginia Tech.
  • Computer Science department – The computer science department is the department that oversees all computer science-related academic activity at Virginia Tech.
  • “Outside world” – any other external sources of information that provide information to users in the boundary of our system.

Lastly, the machine role that services the system is:

  • Listserv – the conduit of sending and receiving information to several users.

Flow Model

This is the current work practice flow model of our user roles within the CRC:

Work Practice Flow Model

This is our initial work practice flow model. It encompasses the broader view of the CRC information system.

Our proposed system doesn’t alter or replace any of the current work practice flow, but rather provides roles with more avenues for communication. Since we do not alter the communication with the outside world, we decided to focus on the individual roles.  Here is a zoomed in view of the center portion of our “before” flow model.

Work Practice Flow Model Zoomed In

This the portion of the work practice flow model that would be altered by the community jukebox.

We decided to split up the information into three different categories–private information, public information, and non-professional information.  From our interviews and observations, we noticed that some information avenues are completely absent. For example, the office never shares non-professional information to the students or faculty. This means that the funny pictures or interesting articles that could be relevant to the CHCI community stops at their office. Here is the flow model after introducing Community Jukebox (CJ–labeled as SJ, which was a previous name.)

Work Practice with CJ

This flow model shows how the community jukebox would alter the flow of information and change work practice.

With CJ, public information and non-professional information can be shared equally between all user roles. Hopefully, this would raise not only awareness of what others are doing but also gives an avenue for building personal connections and overall community.

Hierarchical Task Inventory

3DUI Research Website

For this assignment I investigated the usage of my research website, and modeled the task structure below. I have experience using this system, because I was the person who designed the system. There are two roles, the students and the admin / faculty. The students are technically a subset of the admin / faculty but I modeled them as a separate branch.

Hierarchical Task Inventory

Hierarchical Task Inventory for 3DUI Research Website

Hierarchical Task Inventory for 3DUI Research Website

CS5714 Usability Engineering – Table of Contents

Project Posts

Project 1 – Client and topic
Project 2 – Contextual Inquiry and Contextual Analysis
Project 3 – Requirements and modeling
Project 4 – Design
Project 5 – Prototype
Project 6 – Evaluation and reporting
Project 7 – Final presentation

HW Posts

Homework 1 – Design Analysis
Homework 2 – Modeling, HT Analysis
Homework 3 – Persona
Homework 4 – Sketch of phone usage
Homework 5 – Ideation and sketching
Homework 6 – Affordances

Why I love the new SC2 Inteface

Overview and UI Goals

Starcraft 2 (SC2)  is a real-time strategy game, set in outer-space, where players control one of three races in battle. Players have the option of playing against both the computer and other human players in many different ways. The main goal of the main UI is to allow people to quickly and correctly select the play style that they are interested in. Here is a list of the play options currently available and whether they count towards a player’s public rank:

  • Campaign single player – unranked
  • Multiplayer with computer and/or human allies vs computer and/or human opponents – unranked
  • Mulitplayer with two, three, or four human allies vs the same number of human opponents (1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4)- ranked or unranked
  • Multiplayer with multiple human opponents every person for themselves (FFA) – ranked
  • Arcade multiplayer with multiple human opponents in a campaign style of play – unranked

Heart of the Swarm (HoTS) Beta Interface


Screenshot2013-02-03 15_46_47

Heart of the Swarm landing page

As you can see from the list above, the the player is basically split between single, multiplayer, and arcade play options. Therefore, it is a reasonable approach to make the initial action of the player to select what type of play option they want so they know all future decisions will be in that context. In the beta, these choices are presented immediately to the player on the landing page along with important news, and chat rooms (which helps facilitate group play and community building).

Screenshot2013-02-04 16_04_54

Wings of Liberty landing page

Although this may seem intuitive that is not the case with the current incarnation of the UI. In Wings of Liberty (WoL, the current expansion) the player has only quick access to “Starcraft” (a terribly in-descriptive button) or “Arcade” from every page.  The majority of the landing page is taking up by the player’s current campaign mission and a little bit by news. In order to get to the other play styles, players go to the “Starcraft” screen, which lists all the single player and multiplayer play options. There is also a quick menu, which has a list of play styles and their hotkeys listed. I personally don’t use this menu as often as I should, and find myself going through three pages to get to the menu I want rather than two as I do in HoTS.

Screenshot2013-02-04 16_05_01

Wings of Liberty Quick Menu

Although HoTS doesn’t have single player mode available, since it is still in beta, I hope they don’t automatically place campaign information on the landing page. There are lots of players who don’t even play the campaign and simply play online. The multiplayer community is strong and competitive enough, that I would hope that the landing page would serve as quick launch for a player’s most recently played mode. For example, if the last play option I played was 2v2 multiplayer, I would want to see that on my landing page with my default settings (race, map preferences, etc). That way, the game would feel more tailored to my play style and would require less clicking around to get to the features I am interested in.

The revamped multiplayer menu system

Since HoTS doesn’t have single player, I am going to look at the multiplayer menu system only. The first important thing to note is that HoTS makes a big terminology differentiation in terms of multiplayer that was once obfuscated from the player.  They have divided the multiplayer option into “Matchmaking” and “Custom Game”. This simple terminology change is brilliant, and increases the usability for new players. First, I will discuss the “Matchmaking” menu then go into why this change is helpful.

Screenshot2013-02-04 17_18_29

Heart of the Swarm “Matchmaking” menu

The “Matchmaking” menu brings some much needed changes to SC2. In particular, it lists all play styles in a way that doesn’t require players to changed pages, much like a Javascipt navigation menu in modern web design.  With the new page layout, players can see all play option at the top and see the details of a selected option at the bottom.

Screenshot2013-02-04 16_05_06

Wings of Liberty “Starcraft” menu

In WoL players first have to go the “Starcraft” page from which they can choose which play option they would like, which loads on a new page.  This means that if players wanted to play quick match, yet they accidentally clicked cooperative game, they would have to select “Starcraft”, wait for the page to load, and then choose the right option. This new way has three great advantages. The first is for novices who may not know what all the play options mean. They can quickly check out each option without have to go back to the entire listing. The second advantage is that current players won’t have their workflow completely changed – they select multiplayer then they choose their play option. (The menu time to get into the game hasn’t changed for established players.) The last advantage, is that players have all play options constantly visible to them, which may encourage players to try different play modes. In WoL, if a players breezes through the “Starcraft” screen, they may never really take the time to check out the other play options. Where as in HoTS they are hanging out up top saying “try me”. One thing I do like about the quick match screen in WoL is the very graphic representation of all the races. It seems a bit more polished than the HoTS button interface (I assume HoTS will have something similar once the beta phase if finished).

Another great change to the play option listing, as you may have noticed, is the names. Finally, we have more descriptive names which makes it easier for novices to know what exactly they are signing up for. In WoL multiplayer, there is cooperative, quick match, and custom game play options. Cooperative, has now been changed to versus A.I., which is more descriptive in many ways.  For one, quick match can be cooperative, so the name cooperative is misleading. The main difference in cooperative mode is that players are playing against the A.I., so why not call it that. Quick match, which is a ranked style of play, has now become ranked and unranked. Now you may think, why has it been changed to both, wasn’t it only ranked in WoL?  The explanation for this goes back to the “Matchmaking” vs “Custom game” terminology.  Quick match got its name from the fact that a player doesn’t have to choose a map, game setting, or find players manually to play. In WoL this ment ranked ladder play, where players are placed into leagues and compete against similarly skilled players. In HoTS, since the initial choice of “Matchmaking” has made it clear, a more descriptive name of ranked or unranked can be used. This simple change in the parent level has made for a new feature (unranked quick matches) as well as cleared up a very vague terminology from WoL. This leaves custom game, which has been kept the same as before but one level up, which I think works better than having it with the rest of the multiplayer games. The reason being that the majority of players probably play games where SC2 matches the opponents automatically. Custom games are usually used by professional gamers in tournaments or in practice, since it is the only way to ensure their opponent.

Next Match PLease!

Screenshot2013-02-03 16_04_58

Heart of the Swarm post game review interface

Another great feature of the HoTS multiplayer UI is the post game screen. In SC2 players have to master 4 areas to be successful: economy, production, army control, and overall strategy. Therefore, for players to get better there has to be some type of post game analysis that helps them identify their weak points. Economy and production post analysis reviews are usually displayed in graphs or stats about how much money was in the bank, how much was collected, and how many units were produced. This is pretty straight forward in terms of seeing where a player was lacking. Army control and overall strategy however are much more difficult.  The only way to do this is through watching replays of previously played matches and determining the point of failure.

Screenshot2013-02-04 16_37_39

Wings of Liberty post game review interface

HoTS post game review provides players with not only the graphs and stats from WoL, it also provides a direct access to the replay – a much needed feature for almost all players. Even more excitingly is that the “watch replay solo” buttons turns into a “watch replay as a team” button if it was a cooperative game.  That way players can control the same instance of the replay so they can better discuss their results. This team replay feature doesn’t exist in WoL so it is unfair to compare the two in terms of functionality, however, providing this common ground among teammates is brilliant. Another great feature that was added in HoTS was a subtle way of alerting players when they had beaten their previous average.  This is a great way of showing players when they are progressing, so they can adapt strategies for future success. Another tool to assist in understanding strategy is the “map info” button, which provides the player with details about the map the match was played on. There is community feedback, and chat rooms associated with each entry to discuss strategy and exploitable aspects of the map. Last but not least, I love the “Play again” button. As many avid SC2 players will attest, it is very difficult to only play one game (especially if you lose). The “Play again” feature assumes players are playing the same type of game and simply re-enters them into the matchmaking queue immediately.

In WoL, the post game review UI is very minimal. There is all the stats information, minus the better than average alert, but the only way to get to the reply is to go to the replay screen (the camera button under “Arcade”) which list all the replays, then select the last game. This is a very clunky interaction that hinders people from looking at their replays, rather than encourage them. The other annoying thing is when players want to play again, they have to go back to the quick match screen, and select find match again, even if they want to play with the same options as before.

Bringing people together

As I mentioned earlier the main HoTS landing page has a section dedicated to group chats. Although the chat system is similar to other main stream chat clients there are two ways people can find one another. The first is by knowing their username, whether through asking another player in real life of having played with them in game. The second is through group chats, which are basically chat rooms with a common interest. Since directly connecting with real life players, or previously played teammates is much easier, I believe the HoTS interface is looking to attract more people to the group chat functionality. The SC2 community is quite vibrant, so by adding emphasis on group chat through the landing page, I believe more people might participate in deeper conversations in game rather than through message boards alone (this is also supported though new features where groups can post news and show rosters of all members).

WoL obfuscates group chat by not only having it is a separate button next to the buddy list, it also requires players to know the the group name to join. By having highlighted groups and richer group pages, I hope HoTS will begin to foster the community in-game as much as it has out-of-game.

 Wrap Up

The HoTS interface brings some great and needed changes to SC2. I am glad to see Blizzard (makers of the SC2), working as hard on the interface as they have on all the new units and levels for this expansions. I hope to see the interface become more polished with added bells and whistles once the game is officially released and I look forward to the third expansion in the coming years!