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Walkthrough Setup

Evaluation Completed by: Gary Thompson
Date: September 18, 2007
Environment/URL: Yale Info

Scope of Walkthrough

uPortal: Public/Guest page, Yale Campus Map

User profile(s) and context of use

Persona: Ed McClellan, Undergraduate
Ed is a freshman preparing to start his spring semester classes. Ed has used the portal once or twice and recognizes that there are a few valuable (though not highly usable) services within the portal. Ed is accessing the portal via his laptop from his dorm room.

User Expectations & Conventions


Ed needs to find the location of his class on the campus map.


Portal Guest Page

Usability Issues



Suggestions for solution

Component Identified?

(minus) Looooong load time

Visibility of system status


This could have been a fluke. If not, increase performance. If that cannot be done, provide a "pre-loader" to indicate to the page is loading and how long the wait will be.


(plus) Familiar Yale brand

Aesthetic and minimalist design




(plus) Clean and attractive interface

Aesthetic and minimalist design




(plus) Consistent channel presentation and controls

Consistency and standards



Portlet Container, Portlet Controls

(plus) Useful information at a glance

Flexibility and efficiency of use



Dashboard, Peephole

(plus) Windowed snippets encourages cross-pollination of information

Flexibility and efficiency of use



Dashboard, Peephole

Yale Map

Usability Issues



Suggestions for solution

Component Identified?

(plus) Obvious which content is the map

Recognition rather than recall, Match between system and the real world




(plus) Use of Google Maps - instant recognition and familiarity

Recognition rather than recall, Consistency and standards




(minus) Was looking for browse for buildings (because I am not Ed or going to school at Yale - what do I search for when I do not know the name?). Must know the name of the building - if you do not, there is no alternate browse mode

Recognition rather than recall


Provide a "directory" of campus buildings and locations for users who may not know the right name from memory


(plus) Cursory help is provided with "how to search" instructions

Help and documentation




(plus) After doing some of my own research, I found a Yale building named "Founders Hall"; using this as a search input brought up the correct result. From here I could get directions from another location (like Ed's dorm, or a parking lot)

Flexibility and efficiency of use




(minus) Founders Hall was linked in the location callout of Google Maps. I clicked on it to get more information. This resulted in sweeping me away from the portal and the Google map to a Yale webpage with a wholly different map interface. This map interface seemed to be in its default state as it did not show/highlight/focus Founders Hall (what I had clicked on). I was confused, but assumed that the Google maps interface was limited to addresses and that further information (and detailed campus maps) could only be given by this other (apparently Yale-developed) map application. Disappointing.

Visibility of system status, Error prevention


Inform the user when they are transfered to another interface. Capture search input from the portal and pass it to the secondary map application. Make the Yale map application and the Google map portlet match as much as possible.

Map, Transition Alerts

(minus) I will not go into the Yale map application, but will note that there was no way to get back to the portal from this interface (it had spawned in a new browser tab, however).

User control and freedom


Provide a means to return to the portal

Host Panel/Frame

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