A Object-Oriented Implementation of a Chemical Waste Consolidation Expert System
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1. Background and Rationale
2. Interface Design
3. System Design
4. Evaluation and Results
5. Future Work
Bibliography and References
Appendix A. Example Drum Report
Appendix B. Chemical Compatibility Testing Data
4.3. Usability Testing
Throughout development, usability testing was performed with selected senior-level chemistry students. Students were used because they were familiar with relevant chemical theories and had more time available than University faculty and staff; also, they would most likely be hired as chemists following graduation, so waste consolidation may be one of their future job responsibilities. Many of the suggestions were incorporated into the final software design, although not all were possible. For example, in the original prototype, when a chemical was manually added to the list, it was appended to the end of the chemical library. Afterwards, when searching for a chemical with the ChemLookup routine, the new chemical would appear alphabetized in the list, but the index number would be out of sequence. One of the testing subjects suggested reordering the list so that the index number would follow in proper sequence. This was incorporated into the final design.
Another comment made during usability testing was that entering -1 to quit or exit to the previous menu was counterintuitive; entering Q would require one less keystroke and be more intuitive to remember. However, where this input is required, such as in the ChemLookup routine, an integer value is expected. On menus where a letter input is expected, an input of X returns to the Main Menu, and no testing subjects commented on this as a problem.