Determine the extent to which IT applications demonstrate compliance with accessibility guidelines in recommending improvements that align with standards-based policies.

The final project for this course is the creation of a company consult debrief that analyzes an existing web application with regard to its human-computer interaction (HCI) and recommends solutions for improving the application to meet the needs of the intended audience. This assessment will give you a chance to demonstrate your skills in employing user-centered methodologies in the analysis of an existing web application, and you will make recommendations for improving the application to meet the end users needs.

Outcomes

In this assignment, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes:

  • Assess the potential of user interfaces for meeting their intended audiences needs
  • Determine the extent to which IT applications demonstrate compliance with accessibility guidelines in recommending improvements that align with standards-based policies

Evaluate user interfaces using heuristic evaluation techniques for their compliance with human-computer interaction best practices

Propose user-centered solutions that apply human-computer interaction best practices in meeting the intended audiences needs

Prompt

PayPal. PayPal offers a secure electronic shopping cart that gets your electronic storefront up and running within minutes. This is a free application, but it requires registration.

Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:

  1. Overview. Identify the application you chose, its intended audience, and the reasons you chose it.
  2. Analysis. Assess the existing application with regard to human-computer interaction (HCI), being sure to employ appropriate HCI terminology.
  3. Visual/Graphic Design. Describe the applications overall aesthetic quality, layout of information, and clarity of visual elements (e.g., icons) with regard to how they are presented to the audience. You may also wish to provide details about whether these elements are aligned with industry best practices.
  4. Ease of Use. Describe the navigability of the application and its ability to move users through tasks in a logical and flexible manner with respect to HCI best practices. Justify your position with specific examples.
  5. Functionality. Assess the functionality of the application with respect to HCI best practices. For example, how long does it take for each page to load? Do the applications required user actions correspond to their goals? How accessible is the information the user is trying to obtain? (That is, must the user go to multiple systems for information?) Justify your position with specific examples.
  6. Environmental Factors. What potential factors in the intended audiences environment would impact the use of the application? For example, if the site requires sound to relay critical information and the audience is in a library, how would that impact the user experience?
  7. Cognitive Load. Discuss how the application accounts for human limitations in cognitive capabilities (e.g., how user friendly the application is for users with various levels of technical knowledge), as well as sensory capabilities (e.g., how well the application is designed to avoid eye strain), with respect to HCI best practices. Justify your position with examples.
  8. Human Factors. Describe the impact of human factors €such as culture, gender, or socioeconomic status €on the intended audiences use of the application.
  9. Accessibility. Discuss whether the application demonstrates compliance with accessibility guidelines. Justify your position with specific examples. For example, you might use the following Section 508 standards to identify potential gaps in the current application: â ‚¬Å“Software Applications and Operating Systems,Web-Based Intranet and Internet Information and Applications, and Functional Performance Criteria.
  10. Recommendations. Recommend changes to improve the human-computer interaction, and describe the methodologies that back up your recommendations.
  11. Changes. Given the analysis you have conducted, describe specific changes you would recommend for improving the applicationâ ‚¬ „¢s human-computer interaction with respect to its intended audience, and describe how you would implement those improvements.
  1. Accessibility. Given the analysis you conducted above, describe specific changes you would recommend for bringing the application intofull compliance with accessibility guidelines, and describe how you would implement those improvements.
  2. Methodologies. Describe the user-centered methodologies that support your recommendations, and describe how they support your recommendations. For example, what human factors should be taken into account in improving the effectiveness of the user interface for a broader audience?
  3. Users Environment. What recommendations would you make in aligning the application to the needs of the users environment? Why? For example, if critical instructions are in the audio and the environment is not conducive to hearing them, how would recommend that information be conveyed?

Final Submission: Company Consult Debrief

In task 7-2, you will submit your company consult debrief. It should be a complete, polished artifact containing all of the critical elements of the final product. It should reflect the incorporation of feedback gained throughout the course.

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