This project contains a heuristic analysis of the discussion features on Coursera.org. It was conducted as part of an introductory UX course provided by the University of Michigan.
Product: Coursera discussion boards Objectives: To ascertain any usability or design problems within the Coursera discussion boards. Methods: Heuristic analysis
The heuristics used to assess this product were taken from Nielsen’s “10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design.”
Findings: I discovered 10 issues with the system. This included text that extended beyond the box it was typed into, a lack of feedback on several processes, slow uploads, and formatting problems. Recommendations: Each of the problems identified has a solution, which includes allowing HTML formatting in post titles, creating more error messages when adding different elements to posts, including a progress bar when uploading images, and improving image editing, including cropping and an ability to add alt text for accessibility.
COMPLETE LIST OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Finding 1 Type extends beyond reply box instead of scrolling down. Recommendation Fix coding so that the text box scrolls as the reply lengthens beyond the size of the box.
Finding 2: ESC button did not exit code box as it was supposed to. Recommendation Correct error so that code box disappears when ESC is pressed or clarify description to match what the ESC key actually does.
Finding 3: No confirmation dialog when you cancel out of creating a post. Recommendation Add pop-up dialog confirming cancellation.
Finding 4: No message when entering bad link. Recommendation Notify user of error before allowing them to close the “add link” box.
Finding 5: No feedback for bad image. Recommendation Graphically display broken image icon.
Finding 6: No options on image insert. Recommendation Add features so that user can include image descriptions and alt text for accessibility and to edit/resize/crop image.
Finding 7: No cancel option on replies. Recommendation Allow users to cancel out of replying.
Finding 8: Not obvious while typing reply how to organize other comments; can only be achieved by scrolling to top. Recommendation Add reply organization buttons at bottom in addition to at top.
Finding 9: Photo upload slow with no feedback. Recommendation In addition to showing “uploading” text, add a progress bar.
Finding 10: No way to format post titles. Recommendation Add HTML support.