An Experiential comparative analysis of two remote usability testing methods

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Title: An Experiential comparative analysis of two remote usability testing methods
Author: Varga, Erika
Abstract: Remote usability testing is a key tool for usability professionals. Several remote methods exist and it is often difficult to choose the appropriate method. Testing lower-fidelity prototypes often present unique problems because they provide minimally aesthetic and minimally interactive partial representations of a final product. This qualitative and experiential pilot study is an attempt to compare a remote synchronous (RS) usability testing method where the moderator and participant are displaced by space, and a remote asynchronous (RA) usability testing method where the moderator and participant are displaced by both time and space. An important byproduct of the comparison is the creation of a low-cost, online asynchronous testing mechanism. The results show that the usability issues and participant experience vary between remote synchronous and asynchronous usability testing. While the remote asynchronous method does not require a test moderator and participants find it more convenient to complete the test whenever he or she chooses, participants may require clarification on tasks and usability issues discovered during the test. Participants are also critical of the remote asynchronous method and sometimes find it difficult to complete an entire session on his or her own time without anyone to guide them. Further research is needed to validate the results using a more controlled methodology.
Record URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1850/14641
Date: 2011

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