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Completed April 2008 by Erin Yu and Daphne Ogle


High-level summary to be added after testing has been completed.



For File Uploader user test we want to consider ease of use for uploading files to Sakai [fluid:to start with].

Research questions/goals include:

  • Do users realize they can upload files?  Do they realize they can upload multiple files?
  • Are users successful at uploading a file in general?  A single file from their computer?  Multiple files from their computer?
  • Can a user find a particular file easily?
  • Do users recognize and understand intuitively how to upload files?
  • Is pause/resume upload understandable or does this confuse them
  • Does the user understand that you cannot "cancel" the upload until you first "pause" the upload? Is differentiating between paused and not paused states understandable to users?
  • Are visual affordances meaningful and helpful to users?

Success Criteria

A successful design has been achieved when:

  • 80-90% of users can successfully upload a file from their desktop.


Method and test coordinator script.


The File Uploader will be used by a wide cross-section of students and faculty in higher educational institutions.  We'd like to include keyboard-only users in the user test if possible (can prototype handle keyboard nav?).

Our access to participants is limited primarily to students over faculty.  We will try and include a few faculty.  We want to test a range of non-technical and more tech savvy students as well as faculty members of the University of Toronto and UC Berkeley.  For our user test with working prototype we will have 5-7 users [fluid:combination of students and faculty, but primarily students].

** If doing: For earlier paper-prototyping sessions we will work with a smaller number of participants.  

Interaction Design

Underlying design patterns and description of component behavior.

Test Environment

Location and version of the environment that was used. Attach a screenshot of the environment at the time of testing if the environment will change over time.


Full notes and analysis of the user tests.

Uploader User Testing - Round 1 Results

The user testing on the Uploader was carried out in a "quick-and-dirty" fashion. Ten users (5 in Toronto, 5 in Berkeley) were asked to spend less than 30 minutes with us to complete 4 upload tasks.  Below are the results thus far.


  • All users were able to successfully upload files
  • 3 of 4 users asked if selecting multiple files was possible before being asked to add multiple files. Given the selected users were rather tech-savvy, this demonstrates the users' high expectations.
  • All users acknowledged the list of selected files and proceeded to click on Upload


  • All users were "wowed" by being able to browse and select multiple files at once.  Even though they didn't expect it, all quickly selected multiple files.
  • While files were uploading, 4 of 4 users chose "browse collections" to return to the image gallery thumbnail view.  They expected the upload to continue "behind the scenes".  There was no feedback that the upload would stop (but that's what happens).  This happened on one to several tasks for each user.
  • One user mentioned it would be nice to see thumbnails in the upload queue.  He said the thumbnail could even get bigger as the user mouses over it.
  • 3 of 4 users said they would not stop the upload in progress to remove files from the queue.  They would wait until all files were uploaded and then remove them from the Gallery.  One user did mention that if she was doing it on her own she  probably would have played around with the pause.
  • 4 out of 4 users didn't immediately notice when the files were done uploading.  For a couple it took prompting for them to realize.  A couple users mentioned that it was pretty subtle.  They expected to be taken back to where they started from (browse images & collections) when the upload was complete.
    • Increase the visibility of the "File Uploaded" message.  How about "Upload Complete" in bold?  There is no reason to grey it out.  Users immediately think greyed out information is irrelevant.
  • The one user that used "remove" in the upload queue said it is too subtle.  She had trouble seeing that the file was actually gone (files name with default camera numbers).  She ended up removing extra files because she didn't think it was removing.