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Usability Study

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 11 months ago

Wiki Usability Study




In order to accomplish our goal of creating an informatics wiki for the UCLA community, we will request the help of 5 users (evaluators) to test our wiki as recommended by Jakob Nielson. Evaluators will include two incoming UCLA Information Studies students,two current informatics students and one informatics practitioner. The incoming students have expressed an interest in the informatics specialization. All five evaluators have varying levels of technical proficiency. We will have two iterations of usability testing.


We will subject our wiki to a heuristic evaluation from participants with varying levels of wiki experience. We will observe these participants as they maneuver through our wiki. We will watch and note what they find difficult or especially helpful, so we will know what needs to be changed, edited, or emphasized.


Research results will be collected on this wiki. We will use these results to guide wiki navagation (for example, the wiki's side bar labeling system) and general organization of conent.


Instructions for the observer are as follows:


Our study won't be longer than 15-20 minutes. One member of our group will act as an observer/moderator as participants evaluate our wiki. Another member will take notes. Make sure that the laptop is shut and the evaluator does not see the actual wiki until testing begins. Firstly, reassure the evaluator that it is the system that is being tested and not them.


This is a talk aloud study. Encourage the evaluator to verbally communicate what they are thinking as they perform certain tasks. Encourage them to verbalize any confusion, questions, or things that they particularly like about the wiki.


Give the evaluators a brief overview of our wiki. Inform the evaluator they will be testing the actual wiki. Encourage the user to "act like they are at home." As observers, we want to remain as neutral as possible. Don't show the particpant anything. Try to watch and record. Observe and record the following: What do they have problems with? How did they try to solve the problem? What happened? Was the problem fixed? If not, provide the participant with general assistance to get them on the right path. Don't explicity tell them where to go. If an observer asks about a particular function or location of particular information, you may want to respond with the following: "What do you expect to find there?" or "Where would you expect to find that information?"


Watch them try and record the results. What works? What doesn't? If they hit an obvious obstacle, then step in and help, but don't leap in until they are about to give up, and help them just enough to get them moving forward again. But let them really try to solve all problems without input from you until they fail. If they express an interest in trying other tasks besides these three, let them try. Note what you observe is hard for them to do, as well as the things they verbally express are hard.




A. Before participants begin their navigation of the site, ask them what their expectations are in regards to the type of content they expect to find on this wiki.


B. Ask the user to perform these Procedural Tasks. Record the time it took each user to accomplish each task.


(1) Find background information about informatics.


(2) Does the University of Hawaii offer an advanced degree in medical informatics?


(3) Find information on the International Journal of Knowledge Management.


(4) Does UCLA offer informatics classes in the Communications Studies Department?


C. Conceptual Tasks.


(1) You are a new UCLA student interested in finding information about informatics resources on campus, where would you go to find this information?


(2) You would like to add information about a new Human Computer Interaction specialization you found at the University of Toronto. How would you go about doing this?


D. Follow-up Questions.


(1) On a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 is strongly disagree and 7 is strongly agree, how would you rate this statement: I found the wiki easy to use.


(2) Ask the participant if there are any features/contents they would like added to the wiki.


(3) Would you use this wiki again?


Thank the participant for their time and effort.






Usability Report

Click here for sample Usability Report



Usability Study Sources

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