A Software Testing Process Based in Gamification for Children With Down Syndrome

A Software Testing Process Based in Gamification for Children With Down Syndrome

Alfredo Mendoza González (National Institute of Statistics and Geography, Mexico & Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, Mexico)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2325-4.ch012

Abstract

Evaluating software implies challenging users' abilities during a period, applying several assessments, and analyzing their evolution. This process might turn unpleasant and stressful, especially to those susceptible to anxiety and stress, such as Down syndrome users. The poor performance of unpleasant users generates unreal results. A gamified approach for software testing is proposed that maintains user motivation and engagement and reduces anxiety and stress. Common behaviors expected are anxiety, stress, unwilling to work, and in general, lack of motivation. Using gamification, makes it possible to succeed in controlling these common negative behaviors and stimulating the positive ones including the MDA framework into a generic learnability evaluation process, linking these two elements with the psychological approach of gestalt therapy. Gamifying the testing experience increased the quality of communication between users and applicators; provided a friendly, motivational, and engaging environment; and increased the rate of testing success and the range of potential participants.
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Introduction

When users of a software product start to interact with it, they begin a process that can be either the most pleasant experience or the worst. Usable software products are commonly perceived as the most useful, efficient, and lofty. To assure software usability, developers and designers must know how their products cover all learning needs of goal-users. User evaluation of software products has shown to enhance user-needs fitting in usability, accessibility, ergonomics and learning. Software evaluation involving users means analysing the way users interact with it, and it is one of the most important aspects of User Centered Design (Barendregt, Bekker, Bouwhuis, & Baauw, 2007).

Testing in the software development process is mandatory; nevertheless, for some users the experience of being tested may turn unpleasant; in fact, all software testing involving users generate certain levels of anxiety and stress. Klemer explain that users might feel uncomfortable during evaluation due to (Klemer, 2016):

  • Compromising to make things well

  • Feeling of being observed

  • Challenging of capabilities

  • Error making afraid

  • Changing of the ordinary working space

Users’ discomfort may affect their performance in evaluation and reliability of resulting data. This is the reason of why is important to provide a friendly evaluation environment to users. Enhancing testing experiences, allow a deeper understanding of learning strategies and preferences of users (Kirijian, Myers, & Charland, 2007), and enhance reliability of the study results. This research presents a software testing process based on gamification -bringing the game experience to software evaluation. It allows maintaining the user’s motivation and engagement, reducing anxiety and stress, during the whole testing process, and takes especially care of the Down syndrome users’ characteristics in communication, socialization, and behaviour.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Anterograde Amnesia: A selective memory deficit, resulting from brain injury, in which the individual is severely impaired in learning new information.

Interactive Element: An interactive element (in a user interface) is every component that implies any interaction with the user.

Usability: Usability means making products and systems easier to use, and matching them more closely to user needs and requirements.

Accessible Design: The accessible design ensures unassisted and assisted-device compatibility to technology.

Down Syndrome: A chromosomal condition that is associated with intellectual disability, a characteristic facial appearance, and weak muscle tone (hypotonia) in infancy. All affected individuals experience cognitive delays, but the intellectual disability is usually mild to moderate.

Alzheimer Disease: An irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.

Disability: Disability is the consequence of an impairment that may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental, or some combination of these. A disability may be present from birth or occur during a person's lifetime.

User Interface: Everything designed into an information device with which a human being may interact – including display screen, keyboard, mouse, light pen, the appearance of a desktop, illuminated characters, help messages, and how an application program or a web site invites interaction and responds to it.

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