Date of Award

1-2019

Degree Name

MS in Computer Science

Department

Computer Science

Advisor

Michael Haungs

Abstract

There’s no denying the ever increasing presence of social networking in our daily lives. Every day, people share what they are thinking, doing, and experiencing. But even more so, they check their favorite networks to see what the people in their lives are sharing. Social networking has become so prevalent that most applications incorporate it since it keeps users engaged and beckons them back to the application again and again.

PolyXpress is an interactive, location-based storytelling mobile application that functions as a platform for creating and experiencing stories. Written as a research project at California Polytechnic State University, it allows users to play through stories in real-world locations by using their smart phones. However, in an age of social networking, PolyXpress falls behind the curve, as it does not contain any social features.

The work in this thesis aims to test if adding social networking features to PolyX- press will increase user engagement by performing a usability study. The new social features allow users to participate in public forums about stories, message friends while playing stories, and view their friends’ experiences within the app. The results of the study indicate that the overall user experience of PolyXpress was not increased by the social networking features; however, these features are desired and liked by the users. 70% of the experimental group enjoyed using the social features, while 30% remained indifferent. The problem is that the new features disrupted app satisfac- tion, as UI satisfaction decreased from 100% with the control group to 40% with the experimental group.

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