As we move into the final phases of STEEV thoughts now turn to user testing and usability. OK, so we’ve built a visualisation tool to view time-series energy efficiency variables for a specific geographic area. But just how intuitive is the interface? How easy it is to use, for the practitioner, or for the novice user? What functionality is missing, and what is superfluous?
First step was to meet with the EDINA training officer (who has experience in conducting usability and user testing for EDINA projects and services). It was immediately apparent that work was required in terms of workflow and instruction. A detailed list of requirements has been assembled for implementation.
For the next step in this process we have approached a ‘Usability Expert’ with a view to having an overall look at the tool in terms of features and functionality in order to articulate and finesse possible ambiguities. We hope to have at the end of this process a usability guide detailing both process and outcome and make this available through the STEEV blog.
Our aim is to have conducted this exercise in time for the STEEV/GECO Green Energy Tech Workshop on on 13 October. This will allow practitioners the opportunity to use the tool in earnest whilst providing further feedback from an experts perspective.
Expect a future blog post detailing the results of the extended usability exercise.
Regarding part 2 of the title. OK, so there’s wasn’t a fit between STEEV and Memento. What does fit however, is the deployment of the Google Earth Time Slider to view the policy-based scenarios (as provided by our project partner) for each of the four modelled output over time (namely: SAP Rating, Energy, COs emissions, CO2 emissions based on 1990 levels). Our GI Analyst (Lasma Sietinsone – replacement for Fiona who’s currently on maternity leave) has created a dozen KML files which can be viewed in Google Earth using the Time Slider utility. The KML files can be downloaded from http://steevsrv.edina.ac.uk/data/.
Note: Guidance notes on viewing the KML files in Google Earth are available.
Alternatively view the ‘Using the Time Slider bar in Google Earth’ You Tube clip: