This week I started to plan for our first testing session on Thursday at the Campus School for disabled children at Boston College. The first task I took on was getting the Camera Mouse code to store the coordinates of the mouse and mouse clicks in text files instead of printing them in the debugger. To do this, I had to look up how to write this code in C#, a programming language that I was unfamiliar with.
Once I did this, I ran into a problem that crashed the program because on occasion the program would try to write the screen coordinates into the text file at the same time as the mouse click. To fix this, I wrote code to make two separate text files, one for each set of data.
I then wrote Java programs in preparation for the tests. The first one I wrote was a movement analysis program to see whether users were more able to move in specific directions. This program was designed to be run with the Camera Mouse version as described above to analyze the path of mouse users. I designed two methods to analyze the movement of the mouse. One method was to calculate the length of the shortest path from one mouse click to the next, the length that user actually took, and the difference between the two. The second was to calculate the distance of each screen coordinate from the shortest path and find the mean distance.
The second test was to see if users could easily figure out how to use Camera Canvas. To do this, I compiled a list of tasks for them to perform that implemented all the features of the software (zoom, crop, brightness/contrast, copy, paste, pencil, and rotate). Wary of the students at the Campus School's ability to complete all these tasks, I separated the list out into each individual feature.
We arrived at the Campus School at 10:30 on Thursday morning. I tested out my own movement analysis program and Camera Canvas with two subjects, age 14, and 17. Both had severe cognitive impairment as well as physical impairment. A huge frustration in both of my tests were that neither subject seemed to understand what they were supposed to be doing and were unresponsive to caretakers. Since they did not seem to get the task at hand, their mouse movement was not directed at all. This made my movement analysis data essentially useless because the subjects did not move towards the targets with any purpose. Any hits on the targets I would assume to be purely by luck.
I tested my movement analysis program with both teens and Camera Canvas with Subject 2 only. Again, with Camera Canvas, while Subject 2 achieved the task of zooming, she had no understanding of what she was doing. However, by observing her movements, I did find some bugs that I think could be improved in Camera Canvas. The scrolling menu on the left side of the screen was difficult to navigate. I think that an improvement on this would be to split the menu in half and put half of the features on the left and the other half on the right (or top and bottom) so that all are accessible at all times. Another problem that I noticed was that when a feature was selected and then the mouse was moved to another feature, the previous submenu didn't always disappear and would be visible behind the new feature's submenu.
The data that I obtained from tracking the mouse coordinates of movement and mouse clicks was not at all expected. By graphing the data from each test subject, I found that it could not be analyzed using the methods above. It was evident that the subjects did not really comprehend the requests prompted to them. Comparing the paths they traversed to the shortest path between two targets, therefore, seems rather impossible. Also, because the Camera Mouse had to keep getting recalibrated, the points in my data are not continuous. To fix this, I hope to make new text files every time the cursor control goes from the mouse to the Camera Mouse.
Also, looking at the coordinates of the cursor position, it is necessary to know exactly where and when the exclude features were set up. This is needed to know whether sparsely visited areas outside a certain point are due to the boundaries set or the subject's inability to get there. This will be added to the things to work on for the future.