User Testing the uPortal Layout Manager

Justin Obara infielder6 at
Thu Feb 14 17:30:02 UTC 2008


Here are some thoughts that I had on the usability issues. Not sure how feasible they are, but thought they might lead to some good ideas. 
In regards to helping users to distinguish which portlets are movable and which aren't, user 2 suggested changing the framing of the movable portlets.
What may be one option is to make the movable portlets appear to float above the screen (e.g. with a drop shadow), while leaving the locked
portlets flat against the background. This might help the user realize which ones are movable and which are anchored in place. 
In regards to the drop target:
Part of the issue is that the dragged portlet obscures the drop target indicator, especially when the title bar is over top of it. 
Maybe, in addition to the drop target appearing the styling of the dragged portlet can also change (e.g. framed in green, the 
opacity level changed, or etc.)
On 14-Feb-08, Barbara Glover wrote:

Seems I forgot the all important link :-) 

> Hi all
> I have completed 4 user tests of the Portlet Layout Manager.  The  
> results are at this link.
> You will see from the user testing that people are having troubles  
> realizing they can move portlets at all.
> Other issues we need to address in the design are:
> Locked Portlets:
> - how to convey to user a portlet is locked.  Cursor change is not  
> enough.
> - where should a "lock" icon be placed?  Upper left corner of  
> titlebar is not a good location.
> - Tooltip text is helpful but first must see the icon.  Could move  
> the icon to the middle of title bar or to the right corner.
> - Tool tip/hover text saying "section cannot be moved" could be if  
> they hover anywhere on title bar
> - Could remove title bar from locked portlets as Shaw-han has  
> suggested
> Drop target indicators:
> - green bar is too small and not being noticed enough
> - maybe make it thicker and with an arrow indicating where portlet  
> will go
> These are the big usability issues found.  We need to make changes  
> to improve these usability issues before the portlet layout manager  
> is released.  Let's have a discussion early next week.  I notice  
> Gary has some new design ideas too.
> Gary we'd love to have you participate in this meeting.  What are  
> some times that work for you?
> Everyone send me your times and let's get rid of these usability  
> issues! :-)
> Suggested time: Wednesday, Feb 20th at 10am PST / 1pm EST
> thanks
> Barbara
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