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Justalk A  social  mobile  application  for   conferences    

I541 Fall2012   Instructor:  Dr.  Davide  Bolchini   Reecha  Bharali   Giri  Babu  Saranu   Aeshvarya  Verma  




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JUSTALK 1 Problem  Space  and  Requirements  Gathering   1.1 Purpose This is a mobile-based application, which will enable the user to start meaningful conversations with strangers present at an event. Being a mash up of current social networking sites, this application makes use of the context awareness and location based services. The premise of this application is to empower the user with the meaningful information about the other person(s) present in the context. All this will happen in real-time when the user has already set up the context. The context defined as a conference.

1.2 Problem Space The phenomenon of social computing has evolved over the past few years, to the point of being ubiquitous. Multiple avenues of this social interface can be found online in social environments such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, to name a few. Number of users for these sites is increasing. Each person develops his or her own social network, shares personal information and updates, stories, etc. Nowadays, people’s mobility has increased and they are meeting new people, and interacting with them. More importantly, this mobility helps them to move on in their life and share new experiences. Although, there is no application to know about completely new people whose identities are unknown and there is no known successful method of allowing users to gather data, in real time, about the new people whom they are going to meet for the first time in their life. There is a need to fill this socializing and communication gap that exists in social environments.

1.3 Goals Usability Goals Effectiveness This application must provide an effective way for users to get other people’s information in real time as well as interact with them before approaching them. Efficiency

This application will provide as much correct information as required by the user to start a meaningful conversation and in real time.


It will be as easy to start as any other mobile based social networking interface.



The interface will be as simplified as possible and on the lines of current mobile apps. There will be some new interactions, which will be enjoyable and memorable to the users.


This application will possess safeguards from internet intrusions much like any other social networking applications. User information will be private, available to only registered users and should only be shared if the other person so chooses. This will be ensured using informed notifications.


This application will help the users, especially the introverts and those who feel difficulty, in approaching new people in an event. This should also let the users know who all are present in that event in the real - time.

Experience Goals

• Simplification •

The data collected should be simplified and match the context of talking and initiating a conversation. The interface should also be simple to use and clutter free. Useful The application should give information about the people in the social context in a social environment. The content of the application should be hustle free to be accessed while on move. Effective The data should be effective to build trust about the information that it is providing and it should be helpful. Information like current status, demographics that can be viewed public without interfering with the private space of the participating users. Emotionally fulfilling The interface should give the user confidence to begin a conversation.

1.4 Target Users The target users are those who want to start a meaningful conversation with new people. They are those users who can extend their influence in discussions. Users need to be familiar with computers, and possibly with mobile applications.

1.5 Questionnaire and  Results   Qualitative Questionnaire Qualitative questionnaires with the following items were decided. They were open-ended questionnaire. Upon the consent of the user, the interview was audio recorded for future reference.  


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Ten users were participated in this qualitative questionnaire. The questions are as follows:

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How do you start conversations in a conference? How do you choose the people you want to meet? What makes you difficult to start a conversation with new people? What information will make you feel better to start a conversation with new people? How do you keep a note of the new persons you met?

Quantitative Questionnaire:

The quantitative questionnaires were filled online with There was a set of 10 objective questions, which were filled. The user demographics were also collected to give a detailed view of the user.

1. How often do you meet new people? 2. Do you need information about the new people before your meeting with them? 3. How many social networking sites (like Face book, LinkedIn, twitter etc.) will you be 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

using? Do you like to start a conversation with new people in parties or conferences? How frequently do you post your personal information (like places visited, playing games, and watch movies.) on social networking sites? How do you access the social networking sites? (Select more than one, if applicable) Do you post personal information (name, activities etc.) on the social networking sites like Face book, LinkedIn and twitter? Do you get the specific information to start conversation from the available social networking sites like face book, LinkedIn, twitter? How do you find out about new people? (Select more than one, if applicable)

Analysis of questionnaire From the analysis, it was concluded that, about 60% of the people need information about the new people whom they are going to meet. All the participants are using more than or equal three social networking sites. Most of the users (87%) want to start a meaningful conversation with new people. Most of the people (85%) use social networking sites and personal websites to get the information to start discussions in a conference.

Qualitative Analysis From the qualitative analysis; we get to know that people basis their conversation on the basis of personality and looks; and their biases for them. Many people say they begin conversations by overhearing discussions and looking for people who are talking in a group. They are looking for people that they have something in common. They also keep a note of


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the person through social networking sites, exchanging phone numbers, looking for common friends.


2 Design and  Conceptualization   2.1 Detailed  Conceptual  Model  

Gatherings like conferences call people from different backgrounds and provide a platform to meet up at a same place. Information about people gets funneled in the websites and people often channel information about people from them. But there exists a gap into initiating conversations in these contexts and finding the perfect person or group of people to look for opportunities of discussions, jobs. There exists a need that people find what they look for. Corporatists are looking for the perfect resource person or students looking for the perfect endorsement. They demand to look for apt information in the real time for the user. From a user perspective; the user should be easily able to access the information available about people’s profile then looking for them on the website. There should be real time access about channeling information. Like giving information about people in the vicinity and popping out information about it, rather than looking into tag names. Like when the user reaches a conference he/she might get information about the people who is interested in talking to with response to the location of the person.

2.2 Requirements 2.2.1 Conceptual Requirements • • • • •

This application will be designed for the mobile devices such as iPhone, Android based phones and not as a website. Users can make a real time context or select an event beforehand. Recognition of the other users will be context dependent. Users will be able to access other users who match them on ideas such research interests, company employed in, University affiliated with etc. The application will present the useful information that can be categorized by the user for better selection of strangers.

2.2.2 System Requirements   • •

Smartphones with access to Internet either through 3G or Wi-Fi. Operating system can be Apple ios or Android.

2.2.3 User Requirements   • • • • •

Easy to setup or select a context. Ability to understand the information presented. Comfortable with the idea of sharing their information. Quickly identifying the persons in the context. Ability to read and select choices from a menu.

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Comfortable using a smartphone and using the Internet. Ability to understand written instructions for use.

Key CMC  (Computer  Mediated  Components)  Elements 1. The user should register with his/her name and e-mail id. The user should agree to share his/her information from the professional and social networking web sites. 2. The user reaches a page of the conference; the user accesses the information of the people in the conference. 3. When the user enters a room; she/he is able to access the information of the people in a real time. 4. She/he gets notification of the employees and employers that needs hires. 5. The user when logs into a particular conference; she/he gets notices of the public information of the people in the conference. The information is fed in from professional and social networking web sites. 6. Through real time location track; the name of the person gets popped up in the screen and it is easy for the user to approach. 7. Users will be able to enter opinions and be able to include their needs of jobs and internships.


User Scenarios

1. Steve is 22 year old and attended a CHI conference in 2012 ( He published a paper and wanted to explore the internship opportunities at various top tier organizations on User Experience and UX Design. He was aware that the people from top tier organizations used to attend this conference and he wanted to use this as a platform to interact with them. When he been to this CHI 2012 conference, there was about 3000+ participants and he was not sure about whom to interact and discuss about his internships and ideas. So, he started to go participant-by-participant and discussed to know whether they have any internship openings or not. After couple of interactions, he felt that, this was not a best way to explore about participants in the conference. He thought of having names of all participants, their interests, work place etc., so that he can directly approach them and start a meaningful conversation. But, he was not sure, how to get this information in this context in real time. So, this time he used our application in the Ubicomp 2012. With the, Justalk mobile app, he got all the names of the participants in this context and their information like photo, work place (organization or university) etc. This makes him more comfortable to start a conversation with the people whom he was looking for rather than going by participant-byparticipant. Finally, he was happy as he got the information what he expected, without spending so much time. 2. Bob is 45 years old and working as UX designer in Texas. He wanted to find the students who are really capable of working on interaction and UX design. He is aware that, most of the student will publish their work and attend the conference in May 2012. So, he also decided to attend the conference and make use of it by choosing the right students for internships.


He was shocked to see, that there are many participants (about 300+) and he was not sure who are the students in this group. So, he started to guess, by looking at their age. He was not sure how to start a discussion and felt embarrassed to ask as “are you a student and looking for an internship”! With the, Justalk mobile app, he got all the names of the participants in this context and their information like photo, status (student, employee etc.), work place (organization or university) etc. This information makes him more comfortable to start a conversation with the students with having specific interest in interface and UX design. Finally, he was happy as he got the information what he expected, without spending so much time.

3 Prototype Design  and  Development   An interactive mobile application called Justalk was designed. It was aimed to add as media for easy communication among strangers meeting in a particular place like in conferences. The application would hold the needs of the people and they can easily find the people they are looking for. The location finder helps them to find the people at exact place. The entire design process was guided by design decisions and an iterative design process was followed in each of the following steps.

Figure 1: Design Process

3.1 Paper Prototypes   On a template of the mobile paper prototypes were drawn with both horizontal and vertical functionalities were made. The paper prototypes can be found in APPENDIX.

3.2 Cognitive Walkthrough   The team members conducted the cognitive walkthrough.


Scenario: Bob is a graduate student at IUPUI and is currently enrolled in the HumanComputer Interaction program. He is attending the Mobile HCI 2012 conference, as a student volunteer, in San Francisco. He came to this conference to network with other people active in HCI and finally looking for a summer internship opportunity with a company. He knows that Microsoft is attending this conference and some of their researchers are presenting too. He wants to meet with them and discuss any internship openings.

Task: Inside the conference hall, search for the exact person responsible for intern hiring or any researcher looking for new interns. Locate their exact position with respect to yours.

Result: The application doesn’t seem to deviate from sound design and consistency. Overall, the refined application blueprint and experience is good and should easily meet the expectations/ goals of the user while still executing its essential purpose. While narrowing down the search result using the various categories the user might feel a little redundancy since we have results according to group by names, organizations and recruiters. Also, the description of the position is not clear and may sometime, lead to confusion.

Scenario: Dr. Jay is a Professor at IUPUI in School of Informatics. He has been looking for recruiting an assistant faculty in his department. He is attending a conference in HCI. He is hopeful that he can find some contacts or can find candidates directly who would be interested in the position. He goes to the conference logs in to Justalk simply with this email id; he agrees the application to access his public profile on the sites like LinkedIn, face book, foursquare etc. The application specifies his interest as Informatics and the associated keywords. On the application he can receive notifications about the people who share similar interests when people are at a specified distance from them.

Task: Look for the probable people without `being seen with matching interests for hiring for the post of assistant faculty.

Result: The application provides the notion of being not seen. The security associated with it is that the users though login with their emails agree to access only the public profiles on the social networking websites. He can browse the public profiles of others so that he can initiate a talk based on the interests. The notifications of people who are around a limited distance give a chance of being aware of the candidates with the probable interests. However the application does not satisfy the interest of capturing the desired candidate over a competitive employee. The application is also not apt to understand if the approached candidate has the desired potentials.  


3.3 Findings and  Recommendations   The findings in the cognitive walkthrough were evaluated and the recommendations after the low fidelity prototype are as listed below which were finally implemented in the final prototype. • • • • •

It is important to have a flow in the navigation. The flow of information should be in multiple directions, not just traditional forward and backward. The aesthetics should be more pleasant. Number of participants should be displayed next to each category of participants. The participants should be displayed based on the selected category rather than a single large list.

3.4 Final Dynamic  Prototype  

4 Product Evaluation   4.1 Usability  Study   In order to examine the usability of Justalk, we found four evaluators to help us in conducting usability tests. For the test, the evaluators were asked to complete four tasks and record each error they made. The evaluators were usability experts and had HCI background. We then required them to finish the post-task questionnaire, which was based on 5-point Liker scale, aimed to determine their feeling toward the application. Finally, we did an interview with each evaluator individually to further discover their thoughts on the application and have suggestions through the qualitative analysis.   The following are the tasks we used for the test: Task A You are a recruiter who is attending CHI 2013. Your company has open positions summer internship for undergraduate students. Find and track undergraduate students in your locality (i.e. where you are in the CHI conference) Task B You are organizing IEEE conference on mobile application; you want to host an event in Justalk for people to interact with each other in the conference. Login and create an event.


Task C You are a student. You would graduate soon and want a job. You are interested in Microsoft. You are attending CHI. Look in just talk that you can find if they are available in the conference and also make yourself visible to them. Task D Select how you can view all you have selected in a current session for talking to. User Demographics An email invitation was sent to the users; who were typically HCI Professionals who were expert in their field of study. The team did not know any of the expert users personally to get an unbiased result and feedback from the user in terms of usability review and scope of the application.

4.2 Usability Test   4.2.1 Introduction  

Before executing the tasks, the evaluators explained the concept of the application to the users through a written draft. The tasks and the concepts of the application were explained to the users, and required them to record every error they made during the test; errors such as confusion, mistakes, and missteps would all be categorized as errors. They noted down the errors and informed the team about them.

4.2.2 Post-­‐Task Questionnaire     After each task the users were given to fill out a post task questionnaire. Through the posttask questionnaire, we could understand evaluators’/users feelings and thoughts about the application. The post-task questionnaire we designed was focused on the usability of Justalk. In this questionnaire, the evaluators had to fill in their demographic information, and they then had to complete seven 5-point questions and there was an area to leave a comment if they want to explain something further. After receiving the results from the evaluators, we calculated the scores they made, and the final average score calculated was 1.25 ((35/(7*4)), Which is near above Agree in the Likert scale.   The following are the 7 questions we used in the post-task questionnaire on a 5-point scale with options of Strongly Agree-Agree-Neutral-Disagree-Strongly Disagree:   • • •

The concept of the product was clear through the interface? The navigation of the product made sense to me in the context? The interface was intuitive and could be clearly understood?


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The choice to make selections or filters in the product made sense to me? The labels on the screen were easy to understand and had a flow. The idea of locating people within a conference is interesting. The user interface was consistent throughout the prototype.

4.2.3 Interview   Interviews formed a significant part of the usability test. They enabled to discover some deep issues related to the designs, which were difficult to detect by other evaluation methods. The interviews were conducted in an informal way after the tasks were finished by the evaluator/user. The data collected was qualitative and provided valuable insights into the interface.  

Task Errors  

2.5 2   1.5   Task  Errors  

1 0.5   0   TASK  1  

TASK 2  

TASK 3  

TASK 4  

Table 1. Task Errors of the users

5 User Testing  Results     5.1 Quantitative  Results    

The feedback from the quantitative results was received from 5 expert users. The results were mostly positive with all the users mostly agreeing to the nature of the interface and the type of navigation that followed.


5.2 Qualitative Results   Feedbacks were received as a qualitative during the post task interviews that were conducted on phone. They are as listed below:

There should be more options for visibility

Consistency in the interface, some of the interfaces allow multiple selections

Graphics are not apt.

Semantics issues in the context

Visible status is confusing  

The numbers next to the labels are not clear.


6 Conclusion The project can help talk into taken into consideration better approximations of the locations of people. Though the project can be extended to informal contexts such as parties, gatherings and others however ethical issues like privacy and stalking may come up which needs to be technologically solved.

7 Appendix

7.1 Product Explanation   Introduction Justalk is a social mobile application. The application acts as a conference as the context where strangers search and talk each other for a purpose. It is used for facilitating interpersonal and goal-oriented interaction. The application was developed in the context of a conference. Where people from different backgrounds with different profiles at a same place. They have difficulty in finding the perfect person with matching goals also where every person is unknown to each other inspite of similar interests. Finding where the person could be found exactly in the conference and when is the appropriate time to talk. Core functionalities •

Freedom for the user while using the application.

Interaction between the user and the application using the conversing techniques.


Retention rather than recall is used to run the application like keeping a list of people.

Provides the exact location of the user without ambiguity.




7.2 Quantitative Questionnaire  


7.3 Paper Prototype          


7.4 Final  Prototype  Screens  





Justalk a context aware and location based service mobile app  

A comprehensive report describing the whole process from conception to high fidelity prototype.

Justalk a context aware and location based service mobile app  

A comprehensive report describing the whole process from conception to high fidelity prototype.