Museums and the Web 2005
Interactions: Description
Photo Credits

More than just papers, MW2005 offers a chance for dialogue.

Usability Lab 2

Paul Marty, Florida State University, USA
Michael Twidale, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

Interaction: Usability Lab - Session 2

Once again, Mike Twidale and Paul Marty will administer real-time the user tests in the MW Usability Lab. Sites to be tested are not evaluated in advance and volunteer users are selected at random.

Anyone can signup for a time to have their site tested (space permitting). Volunteer user testers are selected at random. They temporarily leave the room while the owners of the sites describe a "typical" scenario of use something the average visitor to the site would be trying to do. These scenarios are then converted into tasks, which together with some randomly selected standard tasks, are given to the users to perform during the tests.

The users are brought back into the room and simple, low-cost, high-speed user tests are conducted. The sites are projected on a big screen for the audience to follow the users' experiences. Twidale and Marty demonstrate a variety of testing techniques throughout the day but emphasize the "thinking aloud" method so that the audience can easily follow the test subjects' thoughts.

After the conclusion of each test, the user, site owner, test administrators and audience discuss what was learned.