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Computers and the Humanities Program -- BYU College of Humanities

DigHT 210
Computers and Teaching I

Evaluating LiveCode Applications

Although we are primarily concerned with LiveCode stacks, these principles can be applied in evaluating any computer application.

  1. Take the role of an uninformed user.
    • Follow the directions given in the program.
    • Follow obvious arrows and options.
    • Try out help facilities.
    • Note anywhere you feel confused, trapped, or lost. At all times, a user should feel oriented (know where he/she is) and in control (know how to get somewhere else.)
  2. Look at scripts
    • Examine button scripts, of course, but also field, card, group, and stack scripts.
    • Efficiency: Could the task have been done with fewer steps or fewer objects?
    • Consistency: Does each card look and function in the same basic way? Are objects with identical or similar functions from card to card put in the same position or given a similar look?
    • Generality: Could tasks handled the same way in several card scripts, for example, be combined and be handled by a group or stack script?
  3. Examine the application’s visual aspects.
    • Evaluate appropriateness, effectiveness, and consistency.
    • Is the application’s overall "look" pleasing or not?
    • Check visual details. Are there sloppy spots and inconsistencies? For example, does the instruction field use different fonts on different cards?
    • Look beyond the static graphic elements: Are visual effects used well and appropriately? Are highlights used effectively, i.e., do they contribute or detract from your ability to remain oriented and in control and do they help convey the information the application is trying to convey?
  4. Consider content
    • Is it accurate?
    • Is the presentation logical?
    • Does it accomplish its stated or implied purpose?
    • Check for clear writing, correct grammar and spelling.
  5. Consider the overall effectiveness and appeal of the application.
    • What is your subjective impression? Do you basically like or dislike the application?
    • Are the little extras and details "nice touches" or superfluous clutter?

Critique Assignment

Stack Design Lecture

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