Chapter 15: Evaluation Studies: From Controlled to Natural Settings

Chapter Introduction | Web Resources | In-Depth Activity Comments | Teaching Materials

The websites in this section present examples of usability testing and field studies. Some of them also contain information about how to perform the methods used in usability testing and field studies. For example, there are templates for designing questionnaires. These websites are also relevant to chapters 8, 9 and 10. One of the first links on Keith Instone's usable web site is to a page of links about user testing that provides practical advice to help novices. For example, it discusses the basics of usability testing, how to adapt basic techniques for different situations, whether testing needs to be done in a laboratory, how to find and recruit users to involve in usability testing, and many other important issues. There are also links to articles and to guidelines and there are links to logging tools and articles about logging analysis. Take this link on Bruce Tognazzini's website to read about the usability fiasco of the Butterfly Ballot in Florida in the 2000 US Presidential elections and the design of more recent voting systems. Tog also discusses how, when disasters happen there is typically a sequence of situations that involve poor designs This site provides useful information about questionnaire design. In addition to descriptions and references the site also contains templates for you to try out or to build your own questionnaires. The results can be mailed either to yourself or someone else. The questionnaire templates provide questions with Likert or Semantic scales. There are also fields for open-ended text comments. Clicking on a small icon next to each Likert scale question causes a open-ended comment area are to be Many useful links to survey software analysis tools are provided by

Two well-known sites that offer online questionnaire templates are Survey Monkey ( which can be used free for small population surveys but a license must be purchased for use on large surveys. A Youtube video provides training to help you get started with Survey Monkey - The other survey package that is often used is produced by Qualtrics - Many universities and corporations hold licenses so that their community can use Qualtrics.

This ExperienceUX site describes usability testing and compares various methods for evaluating usability Helpful advice is also offered on which describes a range of tools for evaluating usability of product products for different demographic groups including teens and kids. In addition it discusses the cost implications of different approaches. The Pew Internet and American Life survey reports regularly on a wide array of topics featured on the Internet; these include health, use by different demographic groups, e-government, education, many topical issues and more. As well as reading about the interesting content it is useful to examine large-scale survey design. Tobiipro offers a video that describes how to do usability testing with eye-tracking using their own products The Nielsen/Norman Group website contains discussion about a range of usability testing methods including eye-tracking, and testing for empathy as well as their own method of heuristic evaluation

Userzoom describes how to conduct in-the-wild testing, why it is important and provides some useful video case studies Applause provides another view on some of the same issues

Some other sites that provide insights into the use of ethnography in HCI include which is a blog about issues in anthropology. discusses ethnography in HCI. Though old now, this blog raises some interesting issues. This blog also discusses Paul Dourish’s 2006 CHI paper on ethnography in HCI. This paper suggests a technique for doing rapid ethnography in HCI – though now dated, it is good material for a debate on the pros and cons of the technique.

Links provided in the book: