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4081Re: Online Usability Tests

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  • meszaros_susan
    Mar 16, 2008
      I think you can get a lot of "broad" information doing an on-line study,
      such as whether or not users can get the tasks accomplished at all, if
      so then how accurately/well. You might then know if the site is working
      or if it's not, and maybe even about certain areas of it. But I wonder
      about how you can capture the confusion or frustration of users which is
      most apparent from their body language and/or how they use the site
      (gleaned from watching rather than from a questionaire).

      Have you tried to work out the quality of information / quantity of
      information tradeoff? Is it better to have a broad user testing base
      (like your 1000) or a narrow base (say 5 - 7), and the cost of getting
      them (eg setting up the online test v. other more traditional methods)?
      Presumably it would be contingent upon what was being tested. And
      probably also upon the type of users you require.

      susan
      ps. You might want to include some kind of self-reporting on level of
      computer user and subject matter knowledge (1 - 5 or something).

      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, TomTullis@... wrote:
      >
      > One of the techniques I've been using more and more often lately is
      > conducting online usability tests with potentially rather large
      numbers of users.
      > I've found that these can be particularly useful in comparing
      alternative
      > designs and getting feedback about them quickly. For example, when
      the employees
      > of our company are reasonable representatives of the target users,
      we've
      > found that we can send out a quick online study to all our employees
      and get
      > perhaps 1,000 of them to do the study in a couple of days. Obviously
      I'm
      > wondering whether this technique might be a promising one for
      incorporating
      > usability into an agile development project.
      >
      > I think the best way to understand the type of online usability study
      I'm
      > talking about is to actually participate in one yourself. So I set
      up a
      > demonstration study evaluating websites about the Apollo Space
      Program. You can
      > participate in the study by going to:
      >
      > http://www.webusabilitystudy.com/Apollo/
      >
      > It should only take about 15 minutes. I'll post a summary of the
      results to
      > this group later this week. Please hold off on making comments about
      the
      > websites being evaluated until after I post that summary so as not to
      bias
      > others who may not have done the study yet.
      >
      > Please contact me directly (_TomTullis@..._ (mailto:TomTullis@...) )
      > if you have any technical problems with the online study.
      >
      > Thanks!
      > Tom Tullis
      > Senior VP, User Experience
      > Fidelity Investments
      >
      >
      >
      > **************It's Tax Time! Get tips, forms, and advice on AOL Money
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