This calculator was our capstone project course
for our Masters of Human-Computer Interaction degree. We followed
a user-centered design process
that involved extensive user research, interaction design, prototyping,
and user testing.
Design an unintimidating, desirable and easy-to-learn
calculator that students and teachers can confidently use to learn
and teach Algebra I.
We came up with several design ideas, briefly
described here, and described in more detail on the features
The research and designs presented in this project
fall under five major themes: usability, graphing, simplification,
learning, and form. The number of features supported by the calculator
was cut in half to create a less intimidating interface and contextually-relevant
menus replaced stagnant ones to improve overall usability. The graphing
interface was streamlined by removing the link between Stat Plot
and Lists, letting users adjust a graph's equation in real-time,
and providing hard buttons for Zoom and Pan. The calculator was
simplifed by removing features that made concepts unnecessarily
complex such as supporting multiple lists and a 2ND button. Some
exploration into using the calcaulator as a learning tool was made
by user testing applications such as factoring and symbol manipulation.
Several forms were iterated upon and user tested, resulting in the
sliding form factor illustrated in this report.
Usability: Unintimidating, accessible, centralized
Graphing: Streamlined, instant feedback
Simplify: single list, focused feature set, no
Learning: expert reviews, scaffolding, checking
Form: compact hidden buttons, desirable