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Layout Reorderer User Testing - Round 2


Completed July 2008 by Allison Bloodworth, Daphne Ogle, Eli Cochran, and Erin Yu.


High-level summary to be added after testing has been completed.



This test should discover:

  • Do users realize they can move portlets?
  • Are users successful at moving portlets around the portal?
  • Can a user move a portlet successfully to a chosen location?
  • Do users recognize and understand locked vs. unlocked portlets?

Success Criteria

A successful design has been achieved when:

  • 75% of users realize they can move portlets after exploring the interface.
  • 50% of users realize immediately they can move portlets.
  • 75% of users can successfully drag a portlet to a chosen location and drop it.
  • 75% of users can differentiate between locked and unlocked portlets and understand that they cannot move locked portlets.


Method and test coordinator script.


The desire is to test across a range of technology skill of students and faculty. Users tested in this round are from the University of Toronto and UC Berkeley.

Interaction Design

Underlying design patterns and description of component behavior.

Test Environment

Location and version of the environment that was used. Attach a screenshot of the environment at the time of testing if the environment will change over time.


Full notes and analysis of the user tests.

Layout Reorderer User Testing - Round 2 Results

  • 1 User was never able to drag and drop a portlet
  • The dragging metaphor breaks down if there are performance issues (which may be an issue over slow internet connections as well). Firefox 2.0 has much longer lag time that Firefox 3.0.  The lag time made it really difficult to drag and drop.  1 user was never sure it was even allowed because the portlet kept jumping back to place when she didn't drag it far enough.
  • Ghosting to show dragging was a well understood cue, but this metaphor broke down in a big way when performance was slow (jerky movement didn't translate).
  • Green drop target box confused users.  2 users weren't sure what it was supposed to indicate (firefox 2.0), but thought it had to do with where the portlet was picked up from (this may have been due to the slow movement when dragging and drop target not showing up quickly).
  • Long scrolling while dragging was a problem.  1 user had to get out of her seat in order to keep scrolling to try to drag a portlet from the bottom to the top.
  • Most users had trouble distinguishing locked portlets from movable portlets


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