Creating a Template for a Job Application
The paper provides an overview on the heuristic evaluation on the usability inspection on the usability problems in the interface design on the process of creating a template for a job application using word processing software – Microsoft office 2016. As an evaluator, it is essential to examine the interface in order to understand the processes involved and thus determine the compliance of the process involved with the existing usability principles. The paper has, therefore, been segmented into distinct sections to enhance an understanding of existing subtasks. The main purpose of the evaluation is to examine whether the processes involved meet expectations in terms of design and operations by the user and if there are any existing technical difficulties and how the level of satisfaction of the user with the processes involved. The paper identified the instance of compliance as well as instance of violation in the usability of Microsoft word for the design of a job application template. Essentially, the evaluation is conducted with regard to the 10 heuristic usability rules which serve as a basis for assessment of conformance of the design of a system with the expected standards and rules. In the instance of violation, it is important to provide solutions that could be used in the restructuring of the system to enhance better conformance to expectations.
Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA) Diagram
Types of Plan
Summary Table for Compliance
|#||Instance of Compliance||Heuristic Rule||Evidence|
|1||Open a Blank Document||#7||Easy to open word|
|2||Personal & Professional Info||#3||Input information|
Summary Table for Violations and Recommendations
|#||Instance of Violation||Heuristic Rule||Evidence||Severity Rating||Recommendations|
|1||Organizing the Information||#10||Challenging for some users to format info Professionally||1||Consider use of professional templates|
|2||Formatting Data and Info||#9||Challenging to format some tables, images, lines and data||2||The design should be easy to use|
Description of Instance of Compliance
Microsoft word offers a wide range for options for opening and manipulating the file. This adheres to the heuristic rule on usability in that the system design is flexible and efficient for both an advanced and new user. With regard to the 7th heuristic usability rule on flexibility and efficiency in use, the system is designed in such an approach that caters for both experienced and inexperienced users, therefore, allowing users to tailor frequent actions. The fact that the user can open the Microsoft word application using different approaches allows for flexibility in that one can chose the most suitable process to go for with regard to their expectations.
Figure 1 Opening a Word File
To create a professional job template, it is essential for one to input the most relevant data and information. This process is easy and straightforward as no technical skills are required to complete the step (Nielsen, 1995). The software has been suite in such a way that offers a wide range of template for the user to choose from. With this, one can edit to suit his/her professional needs.
The software also matches the real world as it the use of language., words, concepts and phrases much those of the real world (Scholtz, 2004). Recently, the system has been structured in such a way that it communicates in a friendly and welcoming manner just like two humans would communicate. The structure of information, commands and buttons is also structured in a logical and natural manner which does not conflict the natural pattern of human processes.
The icons are structured in such a way that the user can easily identify the probable outcome of certain processes. For instance, one can guess the outcome of the undo and redo button regardless of whether or not they have used the system.
Figure 2 Undo and reo Options
The software also provides the user with the control over all the actions. For instance, if the user makes a mistake or unintentionally makes an error, Microsoft word has the capability of identifying such errors and notifying the user for corrective action.
Additionally, certain actions such as exit and save are marked with respective icons t ensure that the user initiates the most appropriate action as required (Myers and Stylos,2016). A major unique aspect about the Microsoft word is that it takes care of the errors that the user might commit intentionally or unintentionally.
Figure 3 Saving A file
It allows for different options in completing certain actions making it easier for the user to implement. For instance, various options of saving and closing the word document are available for the user.
Figure 4 Closing a Word file
According to the 8th Heuristic usability rule, it is essential for the system to have an aesthetic and minimalist design. In the design of a job application template using Microsoft word 2016, user can easily identify various icons and how they should be used in meeting the user’s needs.
Figure 5 User Friendly and Logical Flow
Description of Violations
The process of formatting the text in a way that appears professional is a bit challenging. It would be recommendable to consider integrating some templates that allow the user to make selections from (Nielsen, 2005). Microsoft word offers a wide range of formatting capability compared to other word processing software. However, it is a bit challenging for the user to identify the most suitable in instances where they an already inbuilt system is unavailable. According to the 10th heuristic usability rule on help and documentation, the design of a software should be structured in such a way that offers guidance to the user in case they experience difficulties. However, in the case of Microsoft word, the help is limited in that, when drawing an horizontal line, the user may fail to find the relevant help required to complete this action. Moreover, the guide provided may fail to adequately serve as relevant for completing the specific action. It is therefore recommendable for the developer to consider integrating help and documentation that directly address the user needs.
Figure 6 Drawing Horizontal Lines
Moreover, using horizontal lines as shown in the diagram below could also be deemed technical as the options to do these are limited/narrow (Nielsen, 1994). Some of the most relevant formatting feature could be unidentifiable by a new user making it challenging to apply in the design of the job application template or even time consuming since it takes the user much time before the particular icon is identified.
Figure 7 Formatting Errors
According to the 9th Heuristic usability rule, the system should automatically recognize errors made by the users, diagnose them and provide recovery options. However, in the design of a job application template on Microsoft word, some of the errors such as poor formatting by the user or drawing lines in sections which they necessarily should be drawn, may be unidentifiable by the system as such errors arise from insufficient knowledge from the user. It is therefore, recommendable to consider integrating modern capabilities of artificial intelligence where the system can automatically predict the outcome of certain processes or probable action to be made by human. This is essential as the user can evaluate different solutions provided by the system, therefore, minimal errors that result from the users would be encountered.
The process of creating a template for job application by av average computer user can generally be termed as feasible. This is because, with the use of Microsoft word 2016, the use of GUI input design makes it easy for the user to navigate between various sections easily. The software has been designed with conformance to most of the heuristic rules. It is, however, essential to incorporating some critical aspects that ensure that all the formatting needs are met. Most of the instances identified in the paper comply with heuristic rules and therefore deem Microsoft word as an appropriate software for completing word processing needs. Generally, to address the existing instances of violation, the recommendations seem to focus more on the development of more sophisticated systems such as help and documentation that has artificial intelligence capabilities. This is as a result of human errors that may fail to be automatically identifiable by the machine but can rather be identified under artificial intelligence capabilities.
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