Intro: Problem/Purpose What is Terrapin Trader? Terrapin Trader is the University of Maryland’s surplus management organization Why Terrapin Trader? Closely related to sustainability with their efforts of re-using/re- cycling existing products and because it is a UMD facility What’s the problem with the existing process? Currently the surplus submission is a completely manual process that requires handling of several paper forms by the user as well as updating static HTML files to refresh the online inventory by the webmaster.
Intro cont.: Solution What can we do? Tried to semi-automate this process by creating a dynamic submission system that allows University of Maryland personnel to log in to Terrapin Trader’s website, fill out all necessary online forms and submit a surplus property request over the internet. Additionally, these online submissions are automatically queued for review by the webmaster. If the webmaster accepts the surplus request he can publish the item on their website with a click of a button without modifying any HTML source. The online submission system and inventory display is based off a database backend that stores all necessary information.
Intro cont.: User Needs Who are the user types and what are their needs? Three types of users: 1.University of Maryland personnel o This user has some sort of property that is not being used or required by his or her department anymore and it can be released to Terrapin Trader for management and/or resale through an easy to use online submission process. 2.Administrators of Terrapin Trader o This user is currently in charge for the upkeep and management of the University of Maryland's surplus system. To ease the process from a management perspective it will be possible for Terrapin Trader personnel to manage all parts of the submission/publishing process online through an interface. 3.People searching for surplus o People who are interested in purchasing published surplus products. These users could be members from other University of Maryland departments as well as the general public. They will interact with the online catalog that displays available surplus property.
Development: First Prototypes First Prototype Design (home page):
Development cont.: First Prototypes First Prototype Design (submit page):
Development cont.: First Prototypes Second Prototype Design (home page):
Development cont.: First Prototypes Second Prototype Design (submit page):
Development cont.: Final Prototype Ended up using a hybrid of the two prototypes Main design from first prototype Implement main menu bar from second prototype
Testing: Usability Tests The usability test was run on several participants. Half of the subjects were given the task of searching first, and half were given the task of submitting first in order to test the different approaches to the website. Structure of Tests: Pre-test questions e.g.: o Have you ever heard about Terrapin Trader before? o Have you ever utilized any other surplus product sites before? o … Test with tasks to fulfill e.g.: o Navigate to ‘About us’ and read about the website o Navigate to ‘New User’ and create an account using a umd address and sample information o Login o … Post-test questions e.g.: o Overall reactions to the system o Screen Layouts o Use of terminology o …
Testing cont.: Results The usability tests were a great success and resulted in a lot of constructive feedback. Compiled a list of possible enhancements and ranked them by importance. Overview of user feedback:
Conclusion: Revisions Implemented 16 of the suggested 39 fixes so far. Will continue to work on revisions and possibly re-run a second usability test.
Conclusion cont.: Lessons Learned Doing proposals, prototypes…are great guidelines for the whole project/schedule Usability tests work Working in groups can be challenging especially o using specific technology implementations o time management o different skill levels Great to work on a complete project (start to finish)