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Information about usability

Published on September 3, 2007

Author: Gourmet


Usability TestingHow to conduct a study:  Usability Testing How to conduct a study Laura Ruel School of Journalism and Mass Communication University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Sources: Hyde Post, John Stasko, Georgia Tech Usability testing:  Usability testing With individual interviews, you should find 80 percent of the problems with 5 interviews. Usability testing:  Usability testing Step one: Design your study Obviously you cannot analyze your entire presentation, nor can you study all the actions that all types of users might perform. Decide on a category of users, define some tasks that they would do frequently, and choose four to five benchmark tasks to evaluate. Carefully select these tasks to simulate what actual users of the site would do. Once you have your tasks, design the experiment: decide on how the participants will be grouped, the procedure, informed consent, debriefing, etc. Usability testing:  Usability testing Step two: Demographics You must design a pre-experiment questionnaire to give to each participant. It should gather appropriate background information that you will find useful in analyzing the performance data later. Usability testing:  Usability testing Step three: Gather data You must recruit at least five participants. Participants will need to read and sign an Informed Consent. Gather your data in whatever manner is appropriate, given your design. A good outline to follow: Welcome, demographic/pre-survey questions (5 min.) Free observation time (5-10 min.) Assigned tasks with and/or without 'think aloud' protocol (5-10 min.) Post task questionnaire and discussion 5-10 min.) Usability testing:  Usability testing Step three: Gather data Carefully observe each session and take notes about the participants' interactions with the site. Which tasks were performed successfully? How long did they take? Did participants make errors? What problems occurred? Did the participants have a conceptual model of the site? Was it correct? Usability testing:  Usability testing Step four: Post-task questionnaire You will want to create and administer a written questionnaire (ideally 4 or 5 questions) to be given to the participants after the tasks are completed. This questionnaire should gather some more subjective data, and should contain quantifiable inquiries. Finally, plan a few open-format interview questions to ask each participant at the end of the session. These should elicit more overall, qualitative impressions of the website. Clearly, you should interact with the site yourself ahead of time to become familiar with its functionality, including functionality outside of what your task includes (users may get off course, lost, distracted, etc., and you'll need to be prepared to help them recover). Usability testing:  Usability testing Step five: Analyze your data and make conclusions Inspect your data and determine if/how they address your hypotheses. Look at descriptive statistics primarily; if you are able to, you should also look at appropriate inferential statistics (e.g., t-test). Usability testing:  Usability testing Usability Test one groups and links The Insidious Fog: Callie McLean, Shell Zhu Jun, Jason Tucker, Sean Aery, Robert Hopwood The Women of Kabul: Olivia Shen Chang, Jessica Lindsay, Jessica Smith, Sherine Toukhy, Lei Tang A Difficult Balance: Tim Baldwin, Mary Hall McCarver, Lawson Parker, Daisy, Daniel Cloud Everest: Beyond the Limit : Brenn Hill, Michael Lindsey, Daniel Pan, Shelley Fullwood

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