Our pilot episode talks about the field of Human …
Our pilot episode talks about the field of Human Factors, and we evaluate Pokemon Go using Jakob Nielsen's usability heuristics.
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on the show today we're talking about what the heck is a human factor and we're also talking Pokemon go
welcome to human factors cast your weekly podcast for all things human factors psychology and design Tara your host Nick Rome and Billy Hall hey everyone welcome to the show my name's nedra human factors practitioner and I'm joined today by my co-host mr. Billy Hall we're talking and sitting talking about Pokemon girl right now because honestly my legs are exhausted and I just want to rest for an hour because I've been out there catching all the postman data hatch those eggs yeah yeah yeah so you're listening to human factors podcast this is our first episode and we just want to say straight off thank you for listening so much and basically what we're gonna talk about today is what the heck is a human factor right like we gotta explain what this show is all about yeah I'm wondering about that too because to be honest with you I've heard a lot of things I mean about different types of psychology and design and things like that that go into these types of games but I never really see it utilized so what is what is people gonna get out of this sort of podcast what are they gonna get out by listening to us yeah so what you can get out of this show right everyone at heart is a psychologist everyone kind of died sex these interactions that they have with humans uh-huh everyone in our inner they're sort of died sex these interactions that they have with anything really and anyone can be a psychologist and so basically what we're trying to do here is just kind of understand that this is a field right dissecting these interactions and to leave with a sense of what human factors really is and to be aware of you know if you're creating products or services out there or even if you're just hanging out and using things just to be aware that all this stuff goes into the design of these things okay so why don't we call it the psychology of Technology podcast what is the actual term for human factor so basically it's just using science to design these products systems or processes to take proper account of how people use them basically it's kind of like a marriage of a ton of different fields it's really interdisciplinary right you have psychology engineering biomechanics industrial design and and anthropometry basically to make sure when we're designing these these programs equipment and processes that we take the human mind and the body in consideration while we're while we're creating these things so basically what you're trying to say what you're what you're telling me is is that it's kind of like the idea of like we all know what a save button is we all know what an exit button is red sign you know is usually stop and green is usually go and people utilizing these in different types of ways like in apps and games and things like that is that basically the idea well yeah I mean what you're talking about there is actually just a very small subset right those what you just talked about are conventions but there's it goes way beyond that right there's there's a ton of other things that you just they're well duh like like when you think about them they're well duh that should be a thing but you know it it's a well duh moment because people have actually researched this and incorporated into the design of what they create okay so you're a psychologist but you call yourself a human factors practitioner I'm a little confused about that all right so so what is a human factors practitioner it sounds like a magical wizard so well yes human factors practitioner I'm actually a human factors engineer by job title but huh a human factors practitioners just someone who engages in utilizing human factors in in their everyday life right so I work at a company right now called Pacific science and engineering we do a lot of contract work for the US military and basically what we do there is we develop solutions to problems that improve human performance in complex sort of systems based on scientific principles and methods okay so you basically tackle certain problems or you get projects and you with the idea with collecting data and things like that you try to solve the problem so it's kind of universal to whoever's going to be using it yeah yeah basically yeah we tailor the product or service or or system to the user so like I'm an avid gamer so you would take a different type of idea of making an a video game app versus using the latest update of Twitter which is more general-purpose you would use different data on that right yeah yeah so the users are very different between between those two right so a gamer is gonna have a different demographic than a Twitter user and so yeah you take in different considerations when developing each system so how do you tackle those kinds of problems I mean like it seems like such a multi-faceted it seems like you could come at it from so many different angles is there a universal way no oh wow it depends it depends is kind of the motto you kind of are making me believe that you're some like black magic practitioner I'm getting a pitchfork ready so well here's the thing is that everything everything that you deal with like you just said video games uh-huh and Twitter everything's unique everything's different right everything has a different challenge to overcome everyone has a different user base and so some methods are good for some things and not so good for other things it all just depends it depends yes that should be our catchphrase at the end I'll show it depends it depends all right I like it all right so you use I remember doing stuff like this when I was a kid it was like the scientific method they gave the age-old adage of you have a flashlight that doesn't work first thing you do is you try the obvious choice of taking out the batteries and putting new ones in it still doesn't work you try to replace the ball if that doesn't work and you give your soul to the Dark Lord so you can actually get it correct and then ever have a flashlight that does anything else right yes okay yes giving your soul to the Dark Lord is a big big part of my job
no so you're talking about the scientific method here right so yeah we use the scientific method in human factors right we have some sort of question that we want answered so we develop a hypothesis about how users interact with this this product system whatever it is and then you you you basically prediction test right you have this hypothesis and then you test that prediction you basically go through and say well this is our hypothesis our prediction let's test it and see if that works and if it doesn't then you analyze it right that's when you analyze it really take it apart right mm-hmm did it was it the light that was the problem or was it the battery or in this case was it the light and then if it wasn't the light well then you form a new hypothesis or a new prediction it's the battery then and then you go through and repeat the process until you find the cause or the solution to whatever it is that you're trying to solve for okay so so we're going to go over this sort of we're going to go we're going to go over and take evaluate certain apps and products and ideas that that we go through so how are we going to do that how are we going to base this on a scale like we can so everybody can actually understand it right so well well this is this next part of the show basically is the part of the show where we do a review of something that you guys are listeners sinden and this could be anything from like a video game to a website a web application on your phone basically what we'll do is we'll take a look at the usability of the app when considering the ten sort of industry standard usability heuristics heuristics now we're making an evaluation based on this heuristic thing yeah what is a heuristic right a heuristic is I like to think of it it's kind of like a mental shortcut uh-huh that sort of ease the mental processing power of making some sort of decision right so think of think of like a rule of thumb right or an educated guess or common sense really like thinking okay there's a good example so think about if you were to go up to a lock that had three digits on it to where you basically thumb thumb through zero through nine on each digit right mm-hmm now if you knew this was I don't know someone's if you knew someone who this loft belonged to and you knew their favorite number was like 729 or something like that that's a weird thing to come up in a conversation but I follow right right right so I mean let's let's just say you know their favorite number is 79 or their birthday is July 29th those kind of things right so you would approach this lock and go okay I know the kind of numbers that are associated with this person aha I'm gonna try those first I'm gonna try 79 first okay and if it unlocks you've just saved yourself a ton of work yeah whereas if a computer were to attack this situation it would attack it very serial right it would go 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 3 until it got to 729 so it takes a computer probably you can process it a lot faster but right it goes through more sort of iterations of testing than the heuristic would right okay okay so who made these heuristics rights so Jakob Nielsen is widely regarded regarded as the guy in usability who he's kind of a big name and the human factors or usability field because he's he's done a lot of research published a lot of books and articles about usability and here's heuristics actually are widely accepted as sort of the industry standard and you know his 10 heuristics are good rules of thumb for interaction design which can be applied to almost any interface so this guy's kind of like the grand pooh-bah of the six practitioners like he's the one who made everything that we're going about so to speak so speak yeah so Billy what do we what are we reviewing today well we're gonna be reviewing Pokemon go you're excited I am jazz I am sore but I am happy because the little 12 year old and me that I have you know stuck down deep inside is so excited that he finally gets to go out and fight a real Charmander are you secretly a 90's kid I am a 90's kid I actually am an IDs kid which makes me feel so old all right so what is Pokemon global Offensive is it actually called global Offensive now oh my gosh that would be so awesome that was and we're gonna feel it to rise a whole generation of children playing it oh my god well it's hugely successful a our game well is what as they are augmented reality right funny enough my phone can't actually handle most of the augmented reality but it's hugely like if I look through my phone and I see a bush in front of me in the real world I can look through my phone and then there's a cute little pocket monster Pokemon right in front of me that I can catch with red balls or different types of capture things and then like much like Michael Vick I have them fight from my amusement no man so so those of you who are listening and those of you who are listening and don't know what augmented reality is it's basically when you take sort of an overlay of reality and put some virtual component on top of it so in this case it's using the phone on your camera to basically capture what's around you in your environment and it overlays these cute little monsters on the screen that you have to flick a ball at to catch them sounds pretty simple it sounds simple right right so are you are you enjoying the game now I'm having a great time with the game if it worked 100% of the time and like works like ain't right me I'll be generous and say about 65% of the time I was gonna give it 50 it really seems up in the air for me yeah you know it's like Russian Roulette of your weekend you'll walk for miles and hope that it records all the steps my eggs so let's explain a little bit more for the listeners who aren't familiar with Pokemon go so in the game you basically collect these monsters right the the motto of the franchise is got to catch them all right and so what your objective is in this game is to catch them all and one of the ways that you do that when we when we reference eggs so one of the mechanics in the game is is basically you go to these real-world locations called pokey stops any place that is have historical significance artistic significance or cultural significance in the neighborhood right we don't mean a lot of things right so you go to these places and you get these little sorta you get items from visiting right pokeballs you get pokeballs you get potions you get different ways to enhance your playing experience and one of the items that you get is an egg and the only way to hatch these eggs which contain more poking right you let it catch is to walk and right now it only tracks it if the app is in the foreground and if you are in you know walking a significant distance and you're a little bit lucky you get honest with you yeah I mean server errors are just all over the place and it's not just us I mean a lot of times I would log on there and the server's would be down this game has almost been out for a week it has been out for a week and I yeah it's been out for a week and there's still server errors this thing's still go down my game crashes more times than anything else and I don't have a wussy phone you know I don't have like the high-end stuff $700 worth but I've even seen those $700 phones not being able to make the snuff well yeah it has it has nothing to do with the hardware it has everything to do with a software right this app is kind of really just in trouble right now but it's a lot of fun I don't want to deter from that no yeah no I completely agree and and that's one of the points that we'll make at the end of this episode is what we kind of thought of it overall but but yeah I mean I think it's a fun game and you know so I guess let's just go ahead and tackle these so we're going to probably break this up into the diff you said there were ten points of heuristic yeah there's ten that this guy broke down let's get back Soros tits yeah yeah so we're going back to it yeah what's the first year is the first one is availability of system status can you give me a little description on that visibility of system status yeah so with this one basically what this is saying is that the user should always be sort of knowledgeable about what's going on and and the action give them feedback that makes sense within a reasonable time okay okay basically as a user I know what's going on okay so like I'm in the middle of a field in I'm in the middle of the field I open this app I know exactly what the process in the game currently do you know I I find myself I mean like I know because I've been playing an awful lot but it's more trial and error than actual visibility I mean the tutorial was vague at best yeah I agree so yeah I'm Pokemon go you know that you really just have no idea as a user what's going on right it has like a tip section but it doesn't really elaborate very well I mean it tells you you know there's a pokey stop and there's a gym that you can go to I think it gives you a little window that says move get over this place but it's very brief yeah it's brief and it's at the beginning so if you glanced over it you might not you know mm-hmm but you know like there's there's things that they do give you right so like when you go to a pokey stop I'm gonna spin the spin the thing spin the image and you'll get items it gives you that when you go to a gym attack them this is how you attack you tap on the screen rapidly or you swipe left and right to dodge mm-hmm it gives you that right device the things it doesn't give you right is like like what are flowers on a focus top of the you you little petals thing yeah I've explained that to people a bunch of times right let me know or that lures Pokemon to that one space so you don't have to run around a whole park to look for it yeah yeah so yeah brings Pokemon cheat but it's not it's I mean you see a lure in your inventory right and it explains what the lure is but it doesn't explain how you would even attach it to a focus top right I haven't even done that yet and I I've just been using other people's lures well that's the thing like do you know how to put warrant on there I don't I just you might just tap it and then tap them no if you tap if you bring up to the lures out of your backpack it'll just be grayed out you there's actually a process to it let's see I didn't even know and you've been playing this game as much probably as much as I have yeah but you just haven't used a lure and I had to have it explained to me to trial and error right yeah it's these kind of things right that don't give that good visibility of system status to the user mm-hmm and just I mean like another one like I'm just thinking about the tracking feature right there's so for our listeners who aren't familiar there's a tracking feature in the lower right hand corner of the screen that kind of shows you where the Pokemon are what Pokemon are nearby and how close they are uh-huh and I should mention too we have these pictures up on our Instagram and our Facebook I'm not to mention that there's tons of stuff on YouTube about oh yeah yeah yeah you can find them anywhere but yeah they have these these Pokemon trackers and they don't really tell you how to use them in fact you know no one has really like definitively figured out how to use these things yet yeah it seems like they gave you us all the tools to do everything but they didn't tell us how to do it it's kind of like um it would be kind of like if we dropped a bunch of iPads in a country that never seen a computer before or you know in my case if he dropped a bunch of a bunch of wood off and a couple tools and said you know build build a couch well I have an idea yeah yeah I kind of know but I mean I don't know you always call me if you need me to ever build a couch for you you gotta write what's what's our what's our next heuristic there I'm sorry the next heuristic here is match between system and the real world right so what does that mean exactly match between system in the real world I mean it's an augmented reality game yeah well so what this is talking about is basically that the system so in this case the app the app should speak the users language right with words or phrases or wrong I was right well I mean it is localized so yeah so there are different languages and the true true true true but I mean it should speak the users language right with words or phrases or concepts familiar to the user rather than like system oriented terms and so this is basically like you know don't don't speak to the user and errors or code follow real world sort of conventions and and make information appear in a natural and logical order I mean you know basically what this is saying is that you know as a user I know what you're talking about app okay well I mean for people who have played the old Pokemon games on the DS and the Nintendo games we kind of have an idea of what's going on oh yeah so we would have to look at this probably from like I'm a person never played Pokemon or played Pokemon so long ago don't remember anything of it could they pick up this game and go right like the people who are oh my gosh this game is getting so much hype I'm gonna download this and try it out but I've never I always go on walks and hikes might as well do something other than look at Twitter yeah so yeah so yeah for these kind of users though I mean what I know I feel like it gives some sort of visual examples right in the beginning it shows you to flick the ball at the Pokemon right you know it tells you to walk to our place but it's great right I mean it's and it's analogous to the real environment in that sense right you can see what's nearby you know on your on your app you can see what kind of things are nearby you know it does use English as localize so it uses the language that you speak hopefully I don't know how many languages it is localized to but oh but but I mean here's here's where it doesn't kind of go with those conventions and standards right hey get it kind of mixes in these these very jargony terms like pokey stop and pokeball like you and I know what those are because we play pokemon them right right but but to the people who haven't like it's all it's all a new thing and they briefly go over but they don't go into any detail about them yeah they say pokey stops for places where you can get items and gym is a place where you can put your Pokemon right I mean yeah it's it's really really high level and you know unless and you know unless you're an avid player or a historical player like he would have no idea what's going on like I don't know I didn't know about I mean until like two days ago I didn't know how gyms really worked yeah I mean but well we're talking about like that the the language that they're using rights right well yeah I mean Jim kind of has that connotation of like place to go workout workout or train yeah so I mean I get that one but it's more like the pokey stop it it's the pokey stop hokey stuff ah I get your hokey and the jargon of it yeah exactly they they like why not call it a capture ball doesn't I mean it's ridiculous as a pokey or trust a shop or yeah stop or something yeah so so with those kind of things I feel like it really doesn't do a good job of introducing new players to the mix but the veteran Pokemon like in the term of design when they're sitting down for that did they just assume that everybody knows that that pokemons just so well known they don't have to worry about that you know or that's that's a good question so I feel like this game went a little viral right I feel like it was meant for the fan base that is Pokemon and it expanded rapidly because social media and it will so first off social media blew up and so did the physical world like you see that this influx of all these people staring at their phones and flicking upwards like and talking to each other that hasn't been seen ever this is this is it's huge it's a weird thing to go out and see people out talking to each other like Tuesday night it's a Tuesday night I'm in downtown I'm in Balboa Balboa Park and near San Diego and La Jolla in California and I'm in the middle of there and usually during the day the place is hugely crowded but this is 9:30 at night usually only thing you see there is maybe a few people taking in the lice walk maybe some people look going to the site and a bunch of people trying to get some sleep on the street right it's very tranquil yeah I went there and I'm not even exaggerating that there was five six hundred people there walking around all looking for Pokemon that's amazing but well at last uh-huh I mean it seems like we're having a beanie baby situation here it could be for all those young kids beanie babies were these little toys with rice inside them that everyone elected and gave up their college tuitions for yeah uh-huh you know I feel like it could last it could but it depends heavily on the development team to really sort of bring it back to the user and really cater to what they need and if they continue to make it a social experience and you know if they continue to make it a social experience and keep adding these features that we need like trading right they they promise just trading it was it was in a video for it well yeah I was in a trailer for it and that was not at launch right so if they give us these features and they they had sort of some reason to keep playing right I think it was really smart i I mean I have a inkling that they will expand it past the original on 50 pokemon right and it was very smart to do it in waves yeah yeah I'd say - doesn't mean look at look at it this way right so you have you have these waves right so everyone scrambles to get the first 150 right that's a lot of them then they'll probably bring out the next wave which is only a hundred and what if they're smart what they'll do is they'll lower the chance rate on the original ones it gives us plenty of time to get a bun and then slowly closes that gap to where they're equal oh I get it so I kind of like you shut off one faucet to have the other fought water in - so you kind of equal out the it's like you know hot and cold water right right all right so yeah it's it's almost like almost shutting the original ones off completely so that way this wave of players can come in and get the new ones and then you slowly turn them back both to halfway so that way they flood in at an equal amount which means the original 150 cool which also gives a little bit of status to people who are playing on day one whatever yeah it gives you it gives you incentive to log in when those those big events happen right now the other thing about it is is that we were talking about that there's a lot of fans we've been talking about this huge community of viral video but one of the other heuristics I see here is about user control and freedom right so the idea of it is is that anybody should be able to understand what I've been gathering anybody should be able to understand what's going on in the app on the screen am i right well that's what we were just talking about but user control and freedom is almost like basically how to if you make mistakes in the in the app right right is is there a recovery path so okay okay I get it now yeah so so users often choose like system functions right or by mistake right they accidentally click on that pokeball we all have that moment where we accidentally hit escape on a document that we were drafting and we've lost the document right that kind of idea well yeah but thankfully there's there's things in place that stop you from right right it's like are you sure you want to exit the right things all right clearly we're looking for like these clearly marked emergency yeah that's right so when you're on a webpage there's an X on the tab that you're on or yeah in this case I mean there's X's all over and the X itself is a convention right X to escape if I see an X on a screen I know that's to get out right and so if you click on the pokeball to access your menu you can always hit that X to get out of there and and you know this is fairly consistent throughout the app we have pictures of this on our Instagram too just to show you the interface if you're not playing currently right and yeah you know there are some things where it kind of lacks though like where's my undo button for a transfer I'm a new player and I accidentally transfer something but I didn't mean to transfer my charmander because that's my first Pokemon right I mean you know to be fair it's a learning experience right you can argue that it's training don't do that you're burned yeah Charmander I get it so Charmander is a fire pokemon yeah
right I mean you know it does it does give you that are you sure message but I mean there's no way to recover from it basically we're talking about undos and it does a pretty good job okay so basically the idea of doing X's and getting out of it and doing that sort of thing right okay so the next one on the list is consistency and standards now this one kind of perplexed with me because it seems very vague how does consistency in standard what does it mean to be consistent in standards consistency and standards I can say it I swear that's okay it's okay just take a deep breath an assistance e consensus and standards good so this one's talked about and this one basically the users shouldn't have to wonder whether or not you know different words or situations or actions mean the same thing and you basically want to follow what everyone else is doing this is you know this is the seems familiar makes sense right so that X that I was just talking about uh-huh that's a standard yeah X's in all the apps all the time like that's the sin right yeah exactly and you you know across across apps or games or whatever it is you want to make sure you're consistent with the way that you present things right and so this is a huge leap differently different from the original Pokemon games but it's meant to be right right I mean it has to it has to change with the times and do you feel that it's do you feel that it's more consistent for new players and old players to come into you know what I mean I mean well no no because for both for both groups that he just mentioned what the heck do feet mean I have no idea so I have heard so many conflicting reports so much to say from it so this this fee that I'm referring to there's a pokemon radar in the lower right hand corner that when you click on it it tells you what Pokemon are nearby mm-hmm and it tells you in little footprints and there has been no community consensus on what the heck these things mean so far and that's so weird because originally when they advertised the game and when people were testing the game they did it in a definable thing like meters they did meters you know it was 50 meters 100 meters things like that away but they changed that to these feet thing so we gotta just kind of hope that we go in a direction I mean we're finding out ways there must be a conclusion but it's not obvious right I mean a spatial location especially isn't really an accurate representation of where these things are they're they don't match the users mental model right when I think three feet I think oh it's literally three feet off in that direction right right if they gave me some sort of units and I mean this is especially sort of a problem in the United States because we still use imperial units but the place is a stone's throw a pound what is five kilometers I don't know um no that makes me sound like I hate Americans and that Americans are stupid which is not the case human factors podcast would like to say that we love America for all its silly silly things no but I mean look I mean it is teaching Americans the metric system right like we we should have made that conversion a long time ago we now know what five meters is because that's how long it takes you to hatch your Pokemon egg I know 10 kilometers is about six and a half miles yeah because I had to look that up on Google Thank You Google right so so basically what I'm saying though is that these feet that you see on this pokey radar mm-hmm you know it it doesn't give the user a sense of truly how far it is right I think each foot equates to like 10 meters or something so they're not 10 meters like 10 feet or so I don't know is it see it's all nebulous you can't really like we've been able to find pokemons in the game but it's kind of like by trial and error where we go in one direction and hope that the feet go to two feet and if not then we go in a different direction right and I mean you know you know and I think sometimes even yeah it even comes back to like and we're still talking about consistency and statements right right another thing with the game and I understand this is a mechanic right so I'm not gonna harp on it too much right but there's never the same Pokemon in the same place and it's hard to establish that standard right because oh you got a Snorlax I want a Snorlax Snorlax is a type Pokemon I want to go towards I'm gonna go to where I'm gonna go to Balboa Park I picked me up with some relax I go there and it's not there there's different things there right why why is that then we don't like I said like I said there's a game mechanic I understand it right but to a new user this could be confusing and it's even confusing to know this year two veteran users - because it's like it's a completely different sort of paradigm right well yeah I mean there's certain consistencies like we will find water type creatures near take bodies of water yeah that's true I don't know how it works in like with lakes and ponds cuz I live next to a beach but I don't know how that works but again a brag I know I live in California it is so nice here but I mean I I won't get the same type of Pokemon I just have to kind of hope and pray and I found weird things in my weight that makes a lot of sense while I was finding gold Dean's in Balboa Park there's a koi pond there there is oh that's clever all right so what's the next one uh error prevention right and so this is uh so this is goes back to kind of like the oops I made a transfer oh and when you transfer in the game you get rid of your Pokemon forever so so basic it something for it right so so this one is you know even even better than a good error message of like system server down one we're very familiar with in this app you know there's there's design that goes into preventing that from happening in the first place right so either eliminate these conditions or check for them and present users with some sort of confirmation options before they commit to them so there's like some sort of are you sure yeah yeah I feel like a as a user I'm glad I didn't do that right right so yeah this goes back to the are you sure right so when you're transferring Pokemon you know you don't want to get rid of it are you sure you want to do this because you'll never see it you never see this Pokemon ticket sorry I just thought of have you seen there's a tumblr or somebody somebody somebody goes through and renames all their Pokemon with autocorrect I saw that instead of like golbat it was Gilbert Gilbert yeah go back no but yeah no yeah no but instead of transferring you you basically just yeah are you sure you want to do this detrimental action right right okay I'm really glad it doesn't tell you every time you throw a Pokeball are you sure you're not gonna get this back right so sometimes you know it's expected right it's a mechanic but other times it really does make a destructive action if you don't pay attention to what you're doing yeah I agree with that idea I mean like you know even if options were like do you are you sure you want to do that we always have the option to turn that off and not do it again but a lot of times it doesn't even give that that like I didn't know I assumed that when I had a Pokeball that maybe if I double clicked on the screen I would go and run and get the bogey ball back but that's not the case once I throw it it's gone forever I didn't know that when that happened through just like trial and error yeah like I said they're they're not very clear on what to do what's what's up next okay recognition rather than recall now this deals with brain stuff right whether it's memory like I have to pull it out of my head to remember it or if it's just instinctual right yeah like a lot of console games using a controller I know that X is jumping a lot of game that's recall instead of met in a certain in certain games I mean inserting it X is jump that's not recall that's just muscle memory right is that how that works not quite so so the way this works is uh so right we basically want to minimize the the basically cognitive load on the user right we want to make sure that sort of these actions or objects or options are visible to them instead of hidden right so if you're talking about like well let's get into the Pokemon go it's example cuz this one this one really kind of hits the nail on the head but basically what what what happens is that the users shouldn't have to remember information from one part of the system to another right so instructions for how to use a system or an app or a game should be basically visible or easily retrievable whenever it's appropriate right so that make the user know I know what I need to do here well I mean like when I go in and access a Pokemon I mean it tells me the first time but it's kind of instinctual you know ball is the trap ball hits Pokemon Pokemon goes in ball yes yeah no that's fine because if they show you that right so I forget at what level but you you get these things called raspberries that allow you to give them to the Pokemon and it increases your chances of catching them and then also you know later on you get different variants of pokeballs like the great ball or the ultra ball that give you an even higher chance of getting them so if you pair them together you know you have a really high chance of catching this Pokemon right now the problem with this is that you know you see the pokeball on the screen yeah dead center at the bottom right yeah I'm breaking it up flick it and let go and it goes and sails and hits the Pokemon in the face right this system does not give you any indication that there's a raspberry to use in this situation uh-huh it doesn't give you that there's a great ball or ultra ball that you can use in this situation it just gives you pokeballs right so what what they could have done and there's plenty of room on the screen for this but what they could have done is put like a little raspberry icon and a little great ball icon on the screen itself so that way the user
recognizes that these are available mechanics to them right that instead of recalling instead of remembering free you know basically by themselves without any reminders oh yeah I have this raspberry that I can use to increase my chances to catch this I have this great ball I can use to increase my chances to catch a spoke Aman they have it on the screen saying blatantly in the face you have these items use us could you give me an example outside of Pokemon go that does that just for clarification here Mike is it kind of like the like button on Facebook um or or is it only mostly for videogames no no no let's let's take that folk Facebook example right so so let's say the like share and what's the third button comment comment yeah let's say the light share and comment buttons were hidden behind one but so I would have to push up another button to bring up another window to do one of those things right it would just be basically people saying these things on on social media and then you know it it wouldn't be readily available whether or not you can like it it's kite okay thank you this is a really good example so think about the like button in the sense that now you have all these varying degrees of reactions right like love-hate cry right different emoji typing yeah exactly the average user might look at that and say like read somebody's status and you know my my great-aunt died today and they want to put a Saturday and it will know oh and they want the person to recognize that they have read the status but they are completely oblivious to the the reactions so they just hit like oh great aunt Agnes she was so mean right I mean well I mean you know they could have said something like I'm so thankful to spend time with my aunt but she passed away today right like what like I like the status it really hit me in the heartstrings but yeah so it's that kind of thing right like versus hold like to get all these other available right you know if you have a line of all these sort of reactions on that same bar where you have like share and comment uh-huh maybe you have them all on that bar that would be recall right oh yeah I remember I can I have more options with how I respond uh-huh but since it's hidden you have to recall that there are options there okay so like so I get it so you have to remember of the options at Pokemon go the raspberry the different types of balls and what the items do you have to remember that in a time okay I get it I get it now alright you got it so what's up next oh let's see our flexibility and efficiency of use yes if we're talking accelerators and what so what elevators yeah not like that right Knott's Berry Farm the accelerator it does sound like that or like some like steampunk hip-hop band that does a lot of metal deep celebrators hip-hop that doesn't metal I would I would listen to is that a thing oh yeah I'll show you later on no you all right so basically what an accelerator is this is some way for an expert user to skip steps right this is this is something that the novice user does not see and and this kind of speeds up the interaction before these expert users basically so that way the system can say yes you can use it this this long way but also we're giving you a shortcut if you know it right so these are think about these is like the hot keys in it on Windows right ctrl C is copy control and those are accelerators versus right click you go down drag down menu type the copy right click where you want to paste paste yeah and it's it's that kind of deal right where you're just control C control V I've never used I very rarely ever use any of those control buttons but that goes into that memory and reaction thing I'm used to going to the bars and everything like that right exactly okay okay so that's what we're talking about here with accelerators and so basically as a user you want to allow me to do more with less right okay so in Pokemon go all right this is something like the curveball alright so if there's a mechanic in the game where if you spin the pokeball a couple times and throw it off to the side it's kind of like bowling where it'll come back towards the center right and this this gives you extra experience for doing it makes you look feel cool - it does but it doesn't tell you that that's a mechanic right it's kind of like a it's a protect it's a hidden thing but a lot of people have been using it to increase their chances to hit the Pokemon because they they get used to the way the ball curves and it's a lot easier than just flicking up sometimes so you know it's that kind of thing right now it's also maybe like in the sense of like a power user would so in the game you can evolve your Pokemon right right and that's basically when you take them from one step of their lifecycle to the next step and then they get more power if they get more powerful and and it takes these candies that you get from catching the same type of Pokemon so like there's one called a piggy and you know you you basically catch what four piggies and you can evolve one yeah so you can or four or five but some reor four right if you trade them in anyway get too far away from it and here's the thing right so you you get these piggies and let's say you save like 20 of them right uh-huh and there's there's this thing called a lucky a in the game right that doubles the amount of experience that you get so you get more powerful faster right and so so the expert user might save all these piggies and use the lucky egg item and then evolve all their piggies while the lucky egg is going oh my god that's brilliant - you know it - boost up their level really quick dude next level tech I'm using that overnight sure okay okay so yeah that's that's there's there's a couple accelerators in there kind of is like an accelerator or this whole idea of flexibility and efficiency of use is kind of like the difference between someone who just picked up the game yesterday versus someone who's played the game a lot yeah some sort of like ability or tech so that I'm more experienced user kind of has an edge not not necessarily an edge that they can just do things quicker right so like so it takes down the tedium right so like okay so so using a curveball versus using a Pokeball is not gonna give you any other benefit other than feeling cool and sort of you know making sure you hit it because you're you're used to doing the angle right like that's one thing using the lucky egg as a novice user you probably gain less experience than an experienced user would because they use it more efficiently that's what they have more experience to get through to than the noise that will you know who knows what level they're at but I mean like I guess expert user could be level one I'm right right right yeah so so that's kind of what we're talking about there what's up what's up next we're on eight right yeah eight aesthetic and minimalist design I think the game does this really well from what I get from it yeah so this is basically talking about how like the dialogues and sort of the screen it doesn't contain an overload of information aha you know it only contains that which is relevant and and needed so every sort of extra unit of information or dialogue is kind of out of the way right basically as a user this looks good it works beautifully I'm good and with Pokemon go you know I mean what do you think what do you do you think it looks good do you think I mean I like the design of it I like the design I mean but I still think that's a very opinionated topic on it it's it's a very minimalist type of thing well yeah so okay so we're less concerned with the look of it and more concerned of like is there a lot of clutter on the screen that makes it unusable no right so yeah yeah you know I feel like Pokemon go does a pretty good job of this right there's not really much to say about the idea of it when it's minimalist no you know right so I mean like there's there's just a couple buttons that you can interact with and then you click on those and you can interact with more stuff but it's very streamlined it's very efficient I I would agree with that I mean you know the one thing that I wouldn't sort of I feel like it takes it too far in the capture screen where you're engaged for the pokemon in combat or whatever it is right you know I feel like they take it a little bit too far like I said earlier they don't show you all your options that you have available mm-hmm a lot of trial and error still well yeah and I mean you know especially with that menu item in that combat screen I mean you access the menu item and you have things like you know your incubators in there and you're lucky eggs you don't need those while you're catching a Pokemon why do those even show up yeah you're right why why couldn't they just take those away instead of just grain them out because it takes time and creates a little bit of frustration when you think you can use something in you can't at the moment yeah it creates more cognitive load than it needs to I mean it just it yeah now this one I really want to talk about help users recognize diagnose and recover from errors okay yeah yeah no oh boy I uh it makes me mad I went on like a six mile hike to do this realize my game crashed like three miles into it because part of the game is you have to move to hatch eggs or define these creatures and I realized it didn't actually update for like forever well let's back up so what we're talking about sorry sorry sorry I'm getting fuelled eat Billy is on fire oh man so what we're talking about here is we're talking about error messages and basically they you gotta express these are basically in plain language right and don't don't use any codes right like so when you see an app close app close due to error exception s0 x03 what does that mean right I have no exactly right you got to explain app closed because of system memory dump or whatever like that's that's at least kind of understandable but it's like then something problem with my memory right like if it said something like your app crash because you're using too many other apps that would be like oh yeah those other things right basically as a user you want to say I know what went wrong and I can fix it right so oh okay all right so let's talk about Pokemon go so I mean plain and simple this sucks yeah no it's really bad like it doesn't tell you when it crashes half the time it doesn't tell you why it's crashing half the time it doesn't it's really hard to even report a problem with the game because I didn't even know until we sat down started talking about it today that there's actually a place to report bugs yeah and I mean even then it's it's hard to do but I mean okay so let's talk about some of the main issues that people have been having so the app froze you were on your hike the a propos you didn't know right it didn't resonate to tell me didn't quote talk about plain language it doesn't even tell you right there's not even a little screen that says oh no right and so okay so you figure it out right cuz nothing's popping up you haven't seen a Pokemon in three miles so you go okay let me restart the app you close it out you come back in you see please login why do I have to login again right okay all right so you you login that's fine then you get this system message of you know systems our servers are down okay so you're gonna leave me at this screen what can I do well you know it doesn't I don't know does it say please come back later yeah it says something like please connect back later all right so later it at least gives you that sense of like alright come back later but it doesn't give you any way to close the app it doesn't give you any options to like retry yeah you know those kind of things I mean sometimes it's just because you have a bad connectivity at a moment like I've had that problem where I closed out the app walk 10 feet and it's back again yeah exactly I know it's even a vague error message yeah it's bad it's just really bad you know slowly the server's have gotten a little bit better we're a week out and and you know the I mean it's delayed in the rest of the world because of these reasons you even said yourself something that has this kind of server problem is usually fixed in a day or two yes I mean you see like with all these big games coming out you know if they have a server problem on day one it's usually fixed by day two and I think I think the creators of this game you know really underestimated the popularity and I mean to be fair I think it was gonna be as big as it was okay well I mean you can kind of predict with a big IP like this that you know it would do pretty well there's been pretty positive reception to the idea right you know and I can't fault them for not you know anticipating this this much terrain yeah there are people who are fans of not Pokemon who are fans of those things yeah yeah yeah so I mean you know I don't blame them with that but to not recover as quickly as they did or to not recover quickly it's a little it puts me off a little bit yeah it doesn't provide a lot of help which is the next thing help and documentation now what does that help in documentation like a user manual kind of yeah so this is a you know so it's kind of like exactly like a user manual so basically you want some sort of uh you want some sort of way for the user to find out what to do right it's better if they don't have to write it's better if the app is just natively intuitive and they can figure out what they need to do right away but if they can't well you know at least there's a place they can go to check okay like a fact you owe you thank you yeah yeah yeah yeah so yeah this yes but also know you want it kind of like like an F to for help sort of built into the thing like I get it in the app like if you tap on this this is why it could be not working right you don't want to have to go to a reddit to find out what's going on yeah there's so much misinformation out there yeah so yeah get it directly from the developer so or us I mean so I don't know have you found any help in Pokemon go ah users sorry users and commentary in that that's about it users and commentary well like other users have been able to long and I have looked at some of the user commentary but that's about it so so you're saying that the help itself almost comes from externally the community the community that's that's a lot of misinformation though yeah see people it's like going to Reddit it's like real life reddit well write streets no there is there is a tip section in the game right and there is it is ya know and you know it's it is pretty poor though so like all it says is it repeats the same thing over and over again and it doesn't give you any way to search for content it just says here's a poky stop this is how you use it here's a gym this is how you use it this is how you fight there's there's not really any detailed explanation about the game's mechanics like how do I find a Pokemon like what are the foot mean or or better yet like I knew a lot of people who didn't know their Pokemon had two fighting moves yeah and what that power bar means yeah exactly so I mean that's there but it needs to be fleshed out a little bit more I I get that I get it but see the thing about advanced is even though there was a lot of problems with this game what do you think of the overall score of it what do you feel about this app you know I feel like wow this is such a unique sort of interesting intersection of terrible usability and wonderful experience you typically don't find those two concepts together right right you typically think of wow this thing is really easy to use this thing's you know a good experience right right I get to do what I'm doing really easily this it comes tremendously difficult to do anything like we put it work yeah but it's an amazing experience not because of the app but because of the community it creates right like you go out and you find these people on the street that are playing with it you walk around anyone who's standing at their phone flicking upwards you know they're playing pokemon go there's this weird camaraderie among all of us and we just go hey what team are you by the way of billing what team are you I am team misty a mystic our way we are team blue at the hf podcast but i mean that's the thing it creates a got a great thing but a community but it's also about the subject material the subject material is so strong right well I mean it's a very strong IP yeah so property you know I mean yeah again like we can't attribute it to the usability of the app but I'm not gonna solid anytime soon even if they have server errors for another like two months you know what though here's here is one thing that I can give credit to the app for you know it does have mechanics that encourage this community right like you do have people going out and converging on these spots where these Pokemon are gonna be alright and you you know you have these community driven events like these lures that you use at pokey stops that draw humans in and you know there have been some pretty bad things that have happened like armed robberies or you know but there there are so many positives for such little negatives it seems really interesting the fact that it's not so much people talking about the game and what they catch people talk about that sure but not as much as the people they met and the moments and the stories they've had right I was walking around there 'vine spectrum and I saw like 20 people just gathered in one spot yeah it's those kind of stories yeah or or when I was in the middle of Balboa Park and 30 people came running in direction I mean everybody's complaining about how often the app crashes or how an unintuitive it is okay see this even though they don't listen to our podcast which you should always listen to our podcast yeah but but the point is that they're talking about it and they're communicating with each other other parts community yeah and I think that's really cool even though there are different teams I don't feel like an opposition again right the others I mean I was driving around the other day and I looked out my window and I see people flicking up on their phones I'm like good luck trainers you know and I'm just like it makes me want to be a good person to other people who are out there and like be safe I'm kind of in this hole like idea of internet toxicity that we have in this world where people get angry and throw death threats over twitter and stuff like that it's kind of nice to see a game that brings people together it's amazing isn't it it's like that's awesome it's like when minecraft made game of the gear and was like the top-selling game for all as long as it was it's just wow instead of shooting and killing things it's just hanging out and catching fictional monsters yeah exactly you know so but yeah the the usability yeah great it's a terrible idea and no it's not a terrible idea I mean no I'm not an execution execution see the other thing about it is is we want you to also note about this podcast is that we may think that usability is terrible in certain games that we might be hard on certain aspects of gangs that we love but it's not about us loving the game it's about the usability of the game in this podcast am i right it's well it's about how the human factors in right right you know factors podcast right exactly so the idea of it is is that don't think that we are hating on a game for the future don't think that we're hating on a game just because we're like I wasn't that great did these things when we're talking about usability we're yeah we're dissecting it to see what kind of psychological components come out of these things and sometimes it's like that but it's still a great game and and you know that's the problem we could never give it a score of like a hundred or a 1 because yeah it's it's so subjective exactly exactly so anyway here's the last part of the show this is where we would normally take questions from you guys our listeners but since this is the first episode you know we need you guys you guys are listeners we need you we need you to send in your questions first so send us your questions on all the social media channels Facebook Instagram Twitter that's it for today I've been your host at Rome and you can find me linkedin.com / nick rome and you can also find me on twitter at Tom Stark lyrics until next time