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The Task

This is an individual assignment. It is worth 50% of the total mark for the module. 

Your report should be submitted electronically as a Word document via the Turnitin link for Assignment Two under Assessment on Blackboard, and should be submitted in hardcopy form at FOTAC. 

The submission deadline is 12:30 on Thursday 01 May 2018. The target date for the completion of marking and the return of results is Friday 7 June 2018. 

University Rules 

Where coursework is submitted later than the agreed deadline without an application for an extension or deferral being approved by the appropriate member of staff, then the following tariffs apply: Work which is submitted unauthorised up to 14 calendar days after the original submission date will receive a mark that is capped at 50%. 

Regardless of how the work is submitted, submission constitutes an assertion by the author that the work is neither plagiarized nor otherwise committing any academic offence.


Your firm of interaction design consultants is trying to build up a portfolio of impressive work, to enable it to pitch for business convincingly in the future.Your task is to produce a usability evaluation of an interactive system by carrying out user testing, plus a presentation of your results. You have a completely free choice of what interactive system you evaluate.

Choice of Interactive System

Possibilities include software applications such as CASE tools or games or e-commerce websites or photo editing systems; electronic devices such as remote controls for televisions or DVD players, or digital cameras, or car radios; or control panels for appliances such as microwave ovens or home heating systems; or a self-service system such as an automatic train ticket vending machine. You may, if you wish, choose to evaluate two very similar and directly competing products, and assess ways in which one is superior to the other.

It’s perfectly okay to decide to evaluate a part of a big or complicated system, or consider a limited set of use cases.  A reasonable amount of functionality to consider is what you can get one user to work through in one user trial.

The one piece of advice we can give is to choose something that is complicated or difficult to use, or is used to carry out complicated tasks, and preferably has obvious usability problems. Studying more complicated and less frequently used features of a system is likely to be more fruitful than focusing on the standard functions people use all the time. You may choose to interpret ‘interactive system’ very broadly and present a usability evaluation of a static information display, but this would require a sophisticated and detailed analysis of how people use it for practical tasks, and these tasks would need to be complicated enough to give you something to analyse. Ask advice if you consider this.

The Usability Evaluation

Producing the usability evaluation will involve

  1. Identifying the use cases or aspects of the functioning of the system to be considered, and briefly describing them in your report. (These don’t need to be a complete set of use cases; for very complicated systems focusing on one part of what they do is just fine. However you should give a clear indication of what subset of the functionality of the system you are considering, and what you are not considering. If in doubt, cover less functionality in more detail.)
  2. Defining an evaluation procedure. This will include stating one or several user tasks to be tested with exact descriptions of the scenario and the goal the user is trying to achieve, as well as what the evaluator will do to collect results and produce an evaluation. It requires a description of the procedure to be followed with each test subject from start to finish, including the exact wording of the instructions given to the subjects. The evaluation procedure needs to be described separately from the description of the results. Ideally your procedure should include filming the subjects.
  3. Carrying out the evaluation. This will involve following the procedure and documenting what the users do and what problems they have. This should include brief descriptions of your test subjects including what relevant experience they have. Your raw observation notes should be scanned and presented as an appendix. You should test the system with several subjects. You may want to treat your first test or two as a pilot and revise your procedure; if you do this, comment on it.
  4. Deriving findings about the usability of the interactive system from the results of the usability evaluation. This should include consideration of how strong and how general the conclusions are. Don’t be afraid of lists.

Written Submission

Your report should comprise the following elements:

  • Part ONE: The interactive system and its users. A brief statement of what the interactive system is and what it does – sufficient to make the rest of the report comprehensible; plus a description of the user populations and the assumptions it is reasonable to make about the capabilities of the users. The word count should be between 200 and 500 words.
  • Part TWO: The use cases. Brief accounts of the use cases considered, plus a statement of what you are not considering, if you are only looking at part of the system. A use case diagram is optional. The word count should be between 100 and 300 words.
  • Part THREE: The evaluation methodology. An exact description of the evaluation procedure to be followed, including exact descriptions of the user tasks being considered and the scenarios and data used, and the instructions to be given to users. The word count should be between 600 and 1500 words.
  • Part FOUR: The evaluation. The results of applying the evaluation procedure: what you saw test subjects doing, measurements of their performance, answers to debriefing questions, and so on. The word count should be between 1500 and 2500 words.
  • Part FIVE: The findings of the evaluation. The findings of your evaluation about the usability of the interactive system. Include comments on how the findings relate to the results of the evaluation procedure, and ideally about how strong the evidence is, as well as judgements of how serious you think the usability problems are. An itemized bullet point structure is likely to be easier to read than long paragraphs of text. This should also include an appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses and successes and failures of the evaluation process. The word count should be between 500 and 1000 words.
  • Acknowledgements of any help received, any information we should have when assessing the assignment, etc, in an appendix.
  • Your notes made during observations of user trials, while conducting a heuristic evaluation, etc, should be included in an appendix. Handwritten notes should be scanned or photocopied.
The Task

1. The interactive system and its users

The Automatic Train Ticket Vending Machine (TVM) is such a type of machine that are commonly found to be situated near almost every transport terminal throughout the world. The machines have come into existence for offering a helpful method of buying tickets or passes for a day without waiting in long queues. It dispenses tickets to clients naturally as soon as the client selects a choice for ticket and deposits the required amount by cash or card. The transaction occurring within the machine begins with client utilizing the machine interface for choosing the type and amount of tickets, after that picking a option for payment for example, money, MasterCard or even a smartcard (Choma, Zaina and Beraldo 2015).

The chosen tickets are then printed and dispensed to the client. Along these lines, workers can go through quicker processing of payments and diminish time waiting in queues. The principle clients of this framework are the travellers going through rail for their everyday exercises.

Ticket machines are generally famous, particularly in the railroads' segment, with a large number of travellers collaborating with such machines on an everyday. Enhancing the cooperation’s with such machines hence can possibly spare time, diminish pressure, and enhance the general nature of administration on an extensive scale. While web based booking destinations, for example,, and versatile applications have moved an offer of ticket buys on the web, the on location booth display stays typical, for three fundamental reasons (Sim and Read 2016).

Firstly, travellers require an approach to purchase tickets at short notice nearby when no web prepared gadget is accessible. Furthermore, ticket machines give usefulness that individual gadgets cannot yet substitute for instance printing tickets acknowledged by railroad organizations. At last, an offer of the populace will keep on preferring the kiosk model over its online partners. Rail ticket vending machines are considered for this specific examination to dissect the client necessities by demonstrating personas and situations.

2. The use case

                                          Figure 1: Use Case diagram for Automatic train ticket vending machine

Use Case Description: Purchase ticket




Purchase ticket


Passenger accesses the system and enters trip details to check for ticket and then makes payment to get the ticket for defined trip.

Primary Actor:



Passenger has accessed the system

Post conditions:

Passenger has entered trip info

Success Scenario:

1. Passenger starts a session by accessing the system
2. System request for trip info
3. Passenger selects source and destination stations
4. System requests for payment info
5. Passengers enters payment details

6. Bank authorizes payment

7. System confirms payment and dispenses ticket

8. Passenger receives ticket

9. System dispenses change

10. Passenger receives change

11. System stops the session and moves to idle state


3a. No ticket is available for provided trip info

- 3a1. System displays no ticket is available for the trip and suggests to update trip details.
- 3a2. Passenger either terminates the transaction or checks for availability with updated trip info.

6a. Payment is declined

- 6a1. System displays message showing payment has been declined by Bank.
- 6a2. System displays message saying invalid pin or password.

Frequency of Use:



Pending Review


Passenger, System and Bank



 3. The evaluation methodology

As organizations have advanced towards robotization, self-benefit stands have turned into a typical component of retail and administration situations. One generally observed illustration is the Ticket Vending Machine (TVM). Original models were assessed utilizing a heuristics-construct approach situated in light of Nielsen's heuristics (Nielsen 1994). Keeping in mind the end goal to augment the quantity of ease of use issues recognized, every model was assessed, except for their own. Assessments were directed exclusively to dodge inclination among evaluators. A cross breed approach between situation based assessment and free investigation was embraced. Firstly, all situations were screened and an arrangement of basic objectives was extricated from them. This set framed the premise of an objective situated assessment (Quinones and Rusu 2017). Every evaluator at first screened the models in perspective of accomplishing these objectives, finishing up whether the model enables clients to accomplish them and advocating their decision. In light of this investigation, every evaluator at that point continued with a free assessment. Any ease of use issues distinguished amid the assessment were evaluated with the help of accompanying scale as below:




No problems with usability


Screen design problem


Minor problem with usability


Major problem with usability


Serious issue with usability

Choice of Interactive System

For assessing the second-age model, an approach based on heuristics has been picked. This area quickly introduces the method of reasoning for this decision. The essential goal of the assessment has been to discover ease of use issues. As the model takes a novel, innovative approach, it has been fundamental to secure extra affirmation on the common sense of the one-screen layout (Oliveira, Simoes and Correia 2017). In particular, the principle need was to set up whether the one-screen configuration can satisfy the particular convenience necessities of open stand frameworks by and large and of Train TVMs specifically. Because of the peculiarity of the plan, changes in ensuing stages were viewed as likely. Completing excessive and convenient assessments would have along these lines involved the risk of wasting resources as revelations obtained could be rendered unusable if the arrangement was to change significantly in subsequent cycles. More asset concentrated assessments were in this way esteemed more fitting for a third era model and the last item (Joshi et al. 2015). In light of these contemplations, client testing and examinations was disposed of as it is excessively tedious and exorbitant, subsequently as unfit for reason. Concerning assessment techniques, the accompanying strategies were utilized:

  • Heuristic evaluations and estimation
  • Cognitive walkthrough
  • Feature and Standards inspection
  • Formal usability inspection

As to criteria, the picked evaluation method should utilize the made personas and circumstances, allow to be versatile to the necessities specific to stand structures and TVMs, and be significantly convincing in recognizing convenience issues while giving a sensible cash sparing preferred standpoint extent. With everything taken into account, the gathering found that a heuristic appraisal in light of a course of action of heuristics uniquely crafted to TVMs and drove by various evaluators scored the most important on the selected criteria (Orfanou, Tselios and Katsanos 2015). Proceeding onward to the specifics of the assessment approach, the group concluded that it would not assess its own model, as assessment results would likely be one-sided. Besides that part the assessment into originators and evaluators, location rates for ease of use issues would endure. Subsequently, an alternate approach of selecting an alternate gathering to lead the assessment.

With a specific end goal to augment extent of convenience issues recognized, the quantity of evaluators ought to be as high as could reasonably be expected. Therefore, a gathering with five individuals was picked. Harvey and Stanton (2016), measures that this number of evaluators grants to perceive around 75% of usability issues. From a strategy perspective, the social affair considered that each evaluator would be given the four personas the looking at circumstances. The evaluators would then reproduce using the model to achieve the goals set out in the circumstances, recalling the motivation and prerequisites of the personas. To moreover streamline appraisal, evaluators would be furnished with a game plan of heuristics which show the usability related criteria which the model ought to satisfy notwithstanding the necessities got from personas and situations.

The Usability Evaluation

Rather than utilizing a bland arrangement of ease of use heuristics, the utilizing a subset of the outline heuristics was decided for open stands as brought about by Scharl, Schafer and Kolliakou (2017). This arrangement of heuristics takes into contemplations the specific prerequisites of open booth frameworks and has been demonstrated and tried by experienced specialists. Keeping in mind the end goal to confine the measure of time and effort required from evaluators, the amount of heuristics was been 12. Significance and pertinence to the particular plan issue were considered for this decision. The table demonstrates the entire rundown of heuristics and an assessment frame was readied in view of the picked set of heuristics.




Avoiding visual elements that are not necessary


Making text as well as elements to be visible by applying sufficient contrast


Communicating on multiple channels for minimizing the need of reading


Making the actions to be visible


Avoiding of steps that are not necessary


Preference to direct item selection rather than cycling through different items


Reliance on recall not on memory


Usage of confirm and next buttons separately and button for undoing certain action


Avoiding accuracy or detail that is not required


Not allowing illegal choices


Request for information in a sequential manner not simultaneously


Revealing all the required steps from the beginning

 At examination time, evaluators were given duplicates of this assessment frame. A colleague disclosed the heuristics to the evaluators and addressed inquiries with respect to their significance. Evaluators were requested to report all ease of use issues discovered while including seriousness scores in light of the scale created by Canicosa et al. (2017), which was disclosed to evaluators, also. In this way, the augmentation and setting of the model were dense. Following that, the evaluators were first exhibited the model using a projector. The evaluators were then offered access to a PC related with the projector with the other intuitive model opened up so they could survey the coordinated effort coordinate. Evaluators were not given a period compel. Amid the assessment, there was alternative for evaluators to make any open inquiry they have as a primary concern with the goal that better outcomes can be accomplished.

4. The evaluation

4.1 User Experience

Obviously, given the broadness of the enrollment criteria, past encounters of TVM utilization were amazingly fluctuated over the example. Despite the fact that respondents were enrolled by asserted certainty levels, this regularly neglected to mean obtaining situations endeavored over the span of the profundity interviews. Numerous were in the propensity for utilizing TVMs to gather pre-requested tickets or purchasing a rehash ticket for a journey they were making frequently (Haddon and Mante-Meijer 2016). Indeed, even the most regular clients tended not to utilize TVMs for a wide assortment of ticket buys as they will probably be in the propensity for purchasing advance tickets online so as to exploit less expensive charges. There was predictable proof to propose, along these lines, that it might be troublesome for travelers to get adequate information of TVMs to have the capacity to utilize them to best favorable position since standard travelers were probably going to utilize TVMs to purchase a commonplace excursion or generally reserving tickets on the web.

Written Submission

4.2 Barriers to Use

The key hindrances distinguished over the example identify with certainty levels and the requirement for consolation, as opposed to worries among travelers about their capacity to utilize TVMs. These can be isolated into three gatherings; Main Concerns, Disincentives and Minor Issues that can be compressed as follows arranged by general significance:

Main Concerns

  • Indeed, even the individuals who were the most able were not generally sufficiently certain to purchase a ticket from a TVM
  • Numerous vibe the need to make inquiries about the excursion, particularly one that is new or complex
  • Most travelers do not know enough about type of tickets or confinements that apply for making decisions (Muhammad, Suzianti and Ardi 2017)
  • Particular issues apply to different incapacity bunches that will require assist thought


  • The requirement for consolation is particularly critical for more costly passages
  • Some may not anticipate that all ticket types will be accessible from a TVM
  • Travelers periodically speculate that the least expensive ticket for their journey will not be accessible from a TVM in adequate time to get the for one thing crest prepare of the day
  • Notwithstanding purchasing a ticket, numerous need extra data about the journey they are making, particularly prepare times (Haddon and Mante-Meijer 2016)
  • Some just want to communicate with a man instead of a machine

Minor Issues

  • A little minority was frightful of the innovation or felt awkward with it
  • Some communicated worry that there is frequently no noticeable staff nearness in case of assistance being required
  • Numerous asserted to be put off by the possibility of feeling under strain from a line framing behind them if their exchange was not a direct one
  • Maybe a couple had a poor trouble of misunderstanding the ticket previously (Kaptelinin et al. 2014)
  • Some were worried about encountering specialized issues or losing their installment card in the machine
  • A minority had been not able utilize a TVM due to having wrinkled banknotes or accepting that right change was required

4.3 Transaction

Over the span of the meeting, every respondent was requested to 'buy' no less than one ticket compose from an extensive variety of situations gave by the clients and Passenger Focus. These were expected to mirror an expansive scope of excursion types with fluctuating degrees of trouble and intricacy and where conceivable, situations were coordinated to the respondents' guaranteed certainty with TVMs and sorts of journeys regularly made. All through this report, screen shots from the TVMs of the clients spoke to in the examination have been utilized to outline components of the exchange forms (Tobita, Fujito and Kitani 2015). These have been chosen to mirror an equivalent portrayal of each sort of TVM as opposed to being proposed to exhibit best or most exceedingly terrible illustrations experienced.

4.4 Interface of the TVM (Ticket Vending Machine)

There is nothing from this exploration to recommend that touchscreen innovation is not the conspicuous and most characteristic arrangement with regards to utilizing TVMs. Be that as it may, it ought to be noticed that this interface is not all around commonplace or agreeable for all to utilize. In fact, maybe a couple more seasoned respondents specified this spoke to a prompt disincentive for them as they accepted a level of PC education would be required keeping in mind the end goal to work the TVM proficiently (Hertzum 2016). Indeed, even among those more OK with the innovation, it was not generally quickly clear what should have been done keeping in mind the end goal to start the exchange.

                                               Figure 2: Home screen of Ticket Vending Machine

In Figure 2 over, a couple were slanted to center around the visuals or the intense slogan instead of the littler and more latent guideline to touch the screen to begin. This was exacerbated in occasions where the screen included moving instead of static pictures. One respondent endeavored to start the exchange by touching the word 'welcome' that showed up on the screen over the keypad utilized for card installment. The main other proof of touchscreen challenges came at later stages in the process when a couple of respondents (particularly men) were excessively awkward or blundering and wound up baffled when the TVM neglected to react obviously.

Use Case Description: Purchase Ticket

The accompanying case was not generally quickly clear to all, but rather there was some inclination that the more order approach of offering clients with a decision to touch one alternative to purchase tickets and another to gather already purchased tickets is useful at this stage (Ferreira et al. 2017). This has the further preferred standpoint of right away narrowing the idea of the exchange to make the ensuing phases of the procedure snappier and less demanding. This is consequently a decent representation of the possibility to receive a convention of streamlining TVM exchanges for clients by taking them through a progression of stages by means of simple to-answer questions.

4.5 Front Screen

4.5.1 First look

The starting screen frequently made an exceptionally negative initial introduction and exemplified the inclination among clients of being over-burden by data at numerous ensuing stages in the TVM exchange process. Numerous travelers felt that this volume of data was extremely off-putting and were regularly uncertain where to begin when gone up against with this variety of decisions and buttons. Besides, most imagined that there was excessively data on every one of the functional buttons to effortlessly process (Muhammad et al. 2017). A further trouble for a few was the phrasing, which although commonplace, was not generally conspicuous with regards to TVM dialect. For instance, 'Whenever' was not generally known but rather was sufficiently simple to work out however it was not generally evident that 'First' means First Class since this could be expected to identify with the name of specific clients. There was visit confirm from the exploration consequently to propose that a portion of the minimum sure clients would not get past this screen in a genuine circumstance.

The force of these rundowns was regularly felt to vanquish the essential question of utilizing a TVM (i.e. to make ticket acquiring additional time-effective) as the amount of goals offered was normally thought to befuddle as opposed to supportive inside basic leadership forms. This was at times exacerbated by the way that there was no obvious request or rationale in the way these buttons were masterminded. The prevalence of goals is pertinent just to the machine and not to clients who expect all buttons for a similar goal to seem together. 

                                                  Figure 3: Destinations list in Train ticket vending machine

The Evaluation Methodology

In the case above, respondents who were searching for a Standard Anytime Single to London Terminals would have anticipated that this would have been situated with the other London Terminal alternatives at the highest point of the screen and would have disregarded the ticket they required in the base left corner.

This rose as a reliable subject all through the exploration. Despite the fact that it was unrealistic to give the immediate correlation appeared in figure beneath because of the idea of the examination work out, comparative issues with respect to screen visibility and neatness were raised for every client.


                                                   Figure 4: Visibility evaluation of Train ticket vending machine

Two principle issues were distinguished in this regard. Firstly, dim buttons out of a comparative shaded foundation were by and large felt to be less-easy to use than the lighter illustrations appeared. This was particularly essential for screens demonstrating expansive amounts of data. A moment, and less imperative issue for a few respondents, was the differentiation between the shade of the button and the content contained inside it.

There has been a strong argument to isolate functional buttons from destination decisions since they have a tendency to be obstructed by TVM clients at present, notwithstanding when clear shading differentiating is utilized. The basic propensity was to center around the focal territory of screen just, particularly amid the underlying phase of the exchange when the accentuation is on expecting to find and select the preferred destination


                                                       Figure 5: Centre Screen of Train ticket vending machine

The buttons around edge of the screen were in this manner frequently ignored at beginning of the procedure, which implied that numerous respondents missed basic navigational signals at start. In this regard, the 'Tickets for Tomorrow' work was generally obscure and not seen throughout the work and most asserted they would go to the ticket office to purchase such a ticket. The results of disregarding the buttons at the base of the screen were more imperative as inability to know how to advance past this screen may make traveler prematurely end as opposed to continue on at this stage.

4.6 Finding destination

Over the example, reactions to this facility were to a great degree positive since it was viewed as a basic and instinctive navigational gadget that gives an accommodating alternate way to find most goals effortlessly.


                                                    Figure 6: Destination finder in Train ticket vending machine

A further favorable position was that it was constantly evident that this office was accessible from the beginning, notwithstanding for slightest consistent or certain clients, despite the fact that it was more unmistakably hailed on some TVMs than others. On this screen (and wherever else it showed up), the 'One Step Back' button was thought to be to a great degree helpful, despite the fact that it was regularly neglected because of the propensity to center around the focal region of the screen, as already portrayed. There was some inclination that the Destination Finder ought to be first screen in the exchange procedure since it was viewed as the most coherent begin point, in spite of the fact that there was some protection from this among the individuals who purchase frequently from the hot list.

Indeed, London stations caused a few troubles for travelers since they ended up being substantially harder to situate inside the Destination Finder than any of the other excursion situations (Hennig, Vogjer and Wasserburger 2016). Be that as it may, this is probably going to be an exceptional issue related with London because of the quantity of station decisions accessible around there. The principle trouble experienced was that the larger part tended to think regarding the station name just and were in this manner slanted to enter this instead of going before it with 'London'. This was particularly valid for those living in or around London with experience of utilizing various stations every now and again.

5. The findings of the evaluation

TVM’s are often unfit to give clients the data or consolation that they require keeping in mind the end goal to have certainty to buy tickets through this channel. There is prove from this examination to demonstrate that even the individuals who claim to have the most elevated amounts of certainty from past encounters of utilizing TVMs can encounter trouble in acquiring right tickets for new journeys from them. A key issue in this regard is the recurrence of utilization and scope of tickets that travelers are probably going to purchase from TVMs since most seem to have a safe place that does not stretch out past a constrained collection of consistent journeys or ticket types. The individuals who are visit travelers to various goals will probably be purchasing tickets on the web and gathering them from a TVM.

Subsequently, where obstructions exist they are probably going to identify with vulnerability emerging from the need to buy tickets for a new journey, particularly when this is mind boggling or costly. In this circumstance, clients cannot get the consolation they require from a TVM that would some way or another be accessible through elective channels. Most in this manner are certain about utilizing a TVM however not in their capacity to recognize and select the right ticket for a new trip. At the point when clients utilize TVMs to discover the ticket they require, numerous are hesitant to affirm and buy thusly.

The key hindrance to consummation is that most do not have the information required so as to settle on educated decisions and choices, basically because of the unpredictability of the passage structure and the conflicting manner by which it is connected over the nations. Buying a ticket from a TVM requires a level of recognition with the system that most travelers are probably not going to have. The fundamental driver of perplexity in this regard identifies with worries about the legitimacy of ticket types offered because of confinements that apply. There was visit confirm from the examination to propose that some are slanted pay more (keeping in mind the end goal to be sheltered as opposed to sorry) or less (seek after the best approach) than the right admission for their journey.

Notwithstanding these characteristic TVM issues, certain programming and navigational issues can give extra boundaries to avoid obtaining in a few circumstances. Since there were signs from the examination to propose that traveler vulnerability can be intensified by TVM ease of use challenges. The key issues featured in this regard is mentioned as below:

  • The volume of data introduced on specific screens can be overpowering and hard to translate
  • The exchange excursion can feel complex as opposed to direct because of the need to process an excessive number of choices inside excessively few phases
  • Navigation is not generally as clear and natural as some anticipate that it will be (contrasted with comparative encounters of obtaining tickets on the web)
  • TVM acquiring accept a level of recognition with the admission structure and limitations that travelers are probably not going to have
  • Where given, data is regularly indistinct or deficient to give the consolation required to be sure that the right ticket is being bought

In conclusion from the overall results of evaluation, it can be at long last prescribed that considered user interface of Train TVMs ought to be additionally developed in consequent models and there is a need for thorough assessment using intensive client testing. Besides that if the design holds up for further investigation, it might eventually disturb the way tickets are purchased at the station. 


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