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  1. #1
    Spirit Coder allspiritseve's Avatar
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    Ideas for senior thesis

    Hello all,

    I am a psychology major, and will be working on my senior thesis this summer. I will be redoing my old high school's website, and in the process doing some usability testing to mix my web design and psychology interests. I would like to do some within- and between-group studies using students, staff members, community members, extracurricular groups, etc.

    My questions are:

    Do you have any ideas for what specifically I can be testing? Ie specific interfaces, navigation models, layout, etc.?

    Does anyone here do usability studies, or anything else that is related to psychology or human-computer interaction?

    Does anyone here know of any studies or current working being done in this area that I could build upon, or people I could talk to?

    Thanks,

    Cory

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    http is a handy cap.. although ajax helps with responsiveness ...
    I would look at wpf or flash flex applications to see layouts, navigations ect
    goal reduce time to accomplish a task.
    goal reduce complexity to accomplish the same task.

    http://www.digital-web.com/ - website has a lot of usability people there
    Last edited by leblanc; Apr 16, 2008 at 14:03.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    how could i have forgotten: Yahoo! Design Pattern Library:

    http://developer.yahoo.com/ypatterns/atoz.php


    that should help

  4. #4
    Spirit Coder allspiritseve's Avatar
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    Hey, that's a pretty cool site... I guess what I really need now, is to find people who are testing some of these problems and corresponding solutions, to see if they actually aid usability, or whether some methods are better than others.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Guru davedibiase's Avatar
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    Hey allspiritsteve,

    This may seem useless to you, but they are my suggestions regardless. I took a psyche course and a student was doing a similar topic regarding the "flow" concept (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)) and online meeting spaces ie. web conferencing/webcasting. Not sure if he ever got anywhere with it but it was interesting. While the original author of "flow" was talking about creative focus capacity and concentration, perhaps it might be worthwhile to explore the same considerations but within cyberspace ie. are there any creative benefits/impediments to flow when meeting online?

    Another idea I had was perhaps studying if there are any conceptual differences between the operation of computing interfaces in genders and age groups. I'm sure there is *tons* of research on this, but as leblanc mentioned, it might be wortwhile foraying this studying into Web 2.0 type technologies. I would personally love to read something that correlates new Web 2.0/Flash trends to cognitive interface design and use.

    My own thesis supervisor mentioned that he had an undergrad student write software to collect comment data from YouTube and analysed comments based on materials that were posted there. He wanted to correlate apathy or emotion by datamining particular keywords with different types of videos. Sounds kind of boring, but I dunno, it might give you an idea or something.

    BTW, I'm a political science specialist at the University of Toronto and just completed my own thesis which was also very technically induced. It's funny how inter-disciplinary some topics can get!

    I just wanted to wish you luck and warn you about the stress you'll be going through - haha.

    Those are just my suggestions. If you'd like you can contact me at david at mozzly dot com. Not sure how much help I'd be but I fine your topic fascinating.

    David


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