Evaluation of the Usability and Learnability of Vehicle Sketch Pad in Academia
MacLeod, Stephanie F.
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This paper describes an evaluation of the usability and learnability of Vehicle Sketch Pad (VSP) within the academic aerospace engineering field. In addition, this paper provides suggestions on how Vehicle Sketch Pad should develop to better provide a desirable graphical user interface (GUI). Aerospace Engineering graduate students were asked to perform specific tasks within Vehicle Sketch Pad, and their performance, efficiency, and workload while completing these tasks were measured. The same students were asked to perform similar tasks within a more traditional computer aided design (CAD) tool, AutoDesk Inventor. At this time, how the user interfaced with the Inventor GUI and what features within the interface they liked and did not like were measured. Analysis of the results of this experiment showed that all three experience-based noise variables, undergraduate major, prior courses taken, and prior VSP experience, do impact the user’s performance, efficiency, and workload while completing a task in VSP. For example, those with a more in-depth Aerospace-related background perceived less workload than those with alternative backgrounds. Additionally, the VSP GUI proved to have a statistically significant impact on the user’s performance, efficiency, and workload. For example, those who experienced confusion due to the workspace layout expressed they felt utilizing VSP was a very mentally demanding task. As a result this analysis, a roadmap for VSP development opportunities was created. This roadmap included users’ opinions and the researcher’s observances of gaps within the VSP GUI in addition to suggestions based on the Inventor GUI.