Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Congratulations, interns!

The Outreachy page has announced the interns for the May-August 2016 internship. There are five interns who will work with GNOME. I look forward to working with Ciarrai, Renata, and Diana on usability testing for GNOME. Congratulations on being accepted to the internship!

This is the first time I'll mentor three interns for usability testing. So for this cycle, I am looking to do things a little differently.

In previous cycles, the interns have pretty much worked in isolation, first learning about usability testing, then doing a usability test on GNOME. We passed those usability test results back to the GNOME Design team.

But in this cycle, I would like Ciarrai, Renata, and Diana to work more closely with others in GNOME. I'll do this in several ways:
First, I'll "launch" each week's topic by writing about it on my blog. I'll also email Ciarrai, Renata, and Diana separately. My intention is to use the comments section on my blog posts as a "discussion forum" for Ciarrai, Renata, and Diana. We might use emails for specific questions, but I think using a "forum" will allow the three interns to learn from each other as they do their own research on each week's topic.

Since my blog also appears in Planet GNOME, I encourage GNOME developers and designers to participate in the discussion. As we examine different topics of usability in open source software, please feel free to join the discussion via the comments.

Second, I want Ciarrai, Renata, and Diana to work more closely with the GNOME Design team. This will help the interns to learn about GNOME usability, including previous work in this area. The Design team can also share their insights to why certain GNOME design decisions were made. I would look for the most involvement from the Design team in the first half of the internship, since that is when Ciarrai, Renata, and Diana will learn about Personas and Scenarios. I think this will be emails and comments on weekly blog posts.

In the second half of the internship, I think the Design team might provide input to what design patterns they would like to have examined in a usability test, and comment on the Scenario Tasks for the usability test. As Ciarrai, Renata, and Diana focus on the Scenario Tasks and building their usability test, they will partner with the Design team to define the Scenario Tasks and comment on drafts of the usability test.

Finally, I'd like to have Ciarrai, Renata, and Diana collaborate to create the Scenario Tasks for their usability tests, so that all three are doing the same usability test with the same methodology. This will allow for interesting comparisons between tests.
Throughout the project, I expect Ciarrai, Renata, and Diana will do a lot of cross-commenting on each others' blog posts every week, as well as doing their own research.

I'm looking forward to working with Ciarrai, Renata, and Diana on usability testing in the May-August cycle!
image: Outreachy

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