Revised Interface Design

3 Representative Scenarios

Scenario 1: Vivian wants to send a postcard with new product announcements to all contacts acquired within the past 6 months. First, she will use the "Modify" button in the Data Collections frame to open the "Modify Data Collection" screen, where she will use the "Add Data" button to select a data source and then choose which fields to include (screenshot 1). Then, she will format that data with the Filter Output frame on the "More Output Options" dialogue (screenshot 2). She will write her postcard and customize fields using the main interface (screenshot 3) and finally print the document as labels using the default print dialogue (screenshot 4).

Scenario 2: Violet wants to send a letter to local businesses requesting donations and attempting to establish a contact. She will go through the same steps as Vivan to gather (screenshot 1) and format (screenshot 5) her data, and she will write her letter in the same way, using the fields on the main interface (screenshot 3). However, before she prints her letter (screenshot 4), Violet must verify the output by using the "Preview and Edit" button, which is also on the main interface (screenshot 3). This allows her to see individual letters and verify that the personalizations are correct.

Scenario 3: Violet wants to send a letter to past supporters inviting them to an annual fundraiser. Again, Violet will first gather (screenshot 1) and format (screenshot 5) her data. Violet then writes her letter with the main interface (screenshot 3). Now that she is ready to print out the letters, she wants to make sure that she is only merging those people in the database who have sent in contributions before. Violet opens the "More Options..." screen (screenshot 5) under the "Output" section in the sidebar in order to filter her output. Since her data contains a "donated?" field with a "yes" value for those members who have given money in the past, she uses the "New Condition" button in order to print a letter only if this "yes" value is detected (screenshot 6).

Changes since Low Fidelity Testing

Most of the changes that we needed to make after testing our paper prototype involved the data collection screen. The user saw our Excel-like grid and logically assumed Excel-like functionality for that grid, which we do not plan to implement. Thus, we decided to have our grid look different by making it more colorful, however, this change has not been implemented in this phase's version of the prototype. We had only included an undo and redo button, but after testing, we decided that other barebones-functions were necessary: cut, copy, paste, remove field, and remove record were all added. The goal is that the user can rearrange data here in the way that makes the most sense for the mail merge without actually modifying the parent database. We also got rid of the "Remove Current" button under "Associated Documents" since it was redundant with the other remove button in place. As a compromise, the current document would be the default selection in the list box.

Aside from the changes in the data page, we changed the main interface. We added under the "Data Collection" section in the sidebar a "Type of Merge" section with buttons for choosing the type of merge: a letter, an email, labels, or envelopes, with the default as letter. We also exchanged the "Preview and Edit" and "Document Output Sorted by" rows in the output section because this made more sense after our interview. Additionally, for linking multiple databases, we included lines between fields that are being linked, as in Microsoft Access, with which many users are already familiar.