Project: Collaborative Word Processing Analysis and Documentation


Collaborative editing has long been used for groupware research and development. In recent years, the publicity of Google Docs has made collaborative editing systems, especially collaborative word processing applications known to the general public. Besides the well-known Google Docs, there exist some real word processors that use Office Word to support collaborative word processing, for example, CodoxWord ( In this project, you are required to evaluate the two products. You need to choose a partner to work with.


  1. Try out the two products. As a user, have a thorough usability testing of these two products. Document “cool” look-and-feel features and major functions they offer and the scenarios where these functions are useful. Also document main problems you have discovered. Clearly describe the pros and cons of each of them and your preference between them with justifications. You need two computers side-by-side for the testing.
  2. As a usability expert, conduct heuristic evaluation on Google Docs with Nielson’s 10 “heuristics” (, the evaluation heuristics for collaborative software (to be downloaded from FLO), and whatever other usability principles that come into your mind. Discuss problems found in heuristic evaluation not in usability testing.
  3. Write a report to summarise your evaluation results on (1) and (2). A suitable structure for your report would include an introduction, a summary of the relevant literature, a description of the way in which you went about your analysis, a clear discussion of the results of the analysis, a conclusion (perhaps including recommendations for improvement), and a list of references. You will probably need to include screen images of the interface to support your analysis; if so, they should be large enough to display the necessary detail. The report should be around 10 pages in length using IEEE conference proceeding template (, and the reference list should contain at least 10 references. Your submission should be typed and conform to accepted practices for academic writing. It should clearly present your findings and defend your positions. The reader should be in no doubt about what you believe and why you believe it. The assessment will be based on the clarity of your writing, the appropriateness of your references, the thoroughness of your analysis, the thoughtfulness of your discussion, and the strength of your conclusions. The report is worth 20 marks.
  4. Give a 15-minute (10-minute talk + 5-minute questions) presentation of your work. Both members of a pair need to share the same presentation. The presentation is worth 10 marks.


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