Usability is the combination of fitness for purpose, ease of use, and ease of learning that makes a product effective. Usability testing focuses on determining if the product is easy to learn, satisfying to use and contains the functionality that the users desire. The movement towards usability testing stimulated the evolution of Usability Labs. Many forms of usability testing have been tried from discount usability engineering, field tests to competitive usability testing. Apart from research and development of various testing methods there have been development in the field of automated tools for evaluation of interface designs against usability guidelines. Some of the tools are DRUM, WebCAT, WebSAT etc.
This page provides informative links to other sources on World Wide Web, focusing on issues of Usability Testing Methods and Tools. The Page is organized in four subsections. The first section includes links to Comprehensive sites that cover various aspects of usability including Testing Methods and Tools. The second section covers sites on Testing Methods e.g. Heuristic, surveys etc. The third section contains links to Testing Tools including automated tools and testing labs. The fourth section presents links to some case studies. Lastly, we credit the people who maintain this page.
|Comprehensive sites on Usability Testing Methods and Tools||
|Jakob Nielsen's Website||Usable Information Technology|
Jakob Nielsen, Ph.D., is a principal of the Nielsen Norman Group, a
consultant. The site can be called the encyclopedia of information on
|Keith Instone's site||Guide to Web usability resources|
Usable Web is a collection of 390 links and accompanying information
factors, user interface issues, and usable design specific to the World
Wide Web. Usable
Web adds value to the links by providing descriptions, multiple
organizational schemes (by
date, by site, by topic) and custom search engine queries.
|Usability Testing Methods||
|Usability Checklist||All Things Web|
One of the most effective forms of inspection-based user testing
involves the use of a
"usability checklist." Checklist-based user testing is extremely
implement, and requires a surprisingly small number of testers to be
|Usability Evaluation Methods||Human Factors International|
This site decomposes Usability Evaluation Methods into Testing,
Inquiry. It offers nine different testing methods and offers an overview,
references pertaining to these methods.
|Internet Technical Group||Sandia National Labs.|
A number of methods can be used to gather requirements and identify
tasks for Web
sites. Because there is no "one size fits all" solution, the
requirements, schedule, and objectives of a project will usually dictate
method or methods to use. Additionally, each method has its strengths and
these along with sample materials are provided to help usability engineers
method is most appropriate for a given situation.
|SUMI||Serco Usability Services|
SUMI (Software Usability Measurement Inventory) is a rigorously tested
method of measuring software quality from the user's viewpoint. It
delivers a subjective
measurement of user satisfaction.
|Usability Methods Toolbox||James Hom at Best Internet Communications, Inc.|
A site describing various methods of usability testing: Thinking Aloud
Co-discovery method, Question asking protocol, Performance measurement
|Steps in Usability Testing Methodology||Branaghan Design Group.|
Fundamentals of Usability Testing is a paper by Russell J. Branaghan,
various steps in usability testing methodology i.e. Purpose of the test,
statement and so on.
|Structure of a Usability Test||Interactive Design Inc.|
This is a description of a usability study discussing about individual
showing what each participant does, the role of observers, the usability
the product's strengths and weaknesses.
|Usability Test Group||Helsinki University of Technology|
Discussion of Heuristic evaluation, Pluralistic usability walkthrough
test methods by
Usability Test Group of Helsinki University of Technology.
|Usability Testing||Information Technology Institute|
Provides an overview of usability testing methodology. It also
introduces concepts of
interviews, task analysis, prototyping and expert reviews.
|Usability Handbook||NASA/ Goddard Space Flight Center|
Provides a link to the usability testing handbook for the Software and
Systems Branch (Code 522) at the NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center.
|Usability Testing Tools||
Various Automated Testing Tools have been developed and are used to
from different perspectives. In addition, various companies and
specialized services to assist in Usability testing with the use of their
Even large organizations like Microsoft and IBM have their own usability
testing labs and
tools. This section is divided in two parts: Automated tools and
|ErgoLight Usability Software||ErgoLight Usability Software Ltd.|
Comprehensive GUI quality solutions for the professional Windows application developer. ErgoLight offers solutions for developers of Windows applications for testing and evaluating their usability.
|WebMetrics Tool Suite||National Institute of Standards and Technology|
Tool Suite contains rapid, remote, and automated tools to help in
producing usable web
sites. The Web Static Analyzer Tool (WebSAT) checks the html of a web page
numerous usability guidelines. The output from WebSAT consists of
potential usability problems, which should be investigated further through
The Web Category Analysis Tool (WebCAT) lets the usability engineer
quickly construct and
conduct a simple category analysis across the web.
|Bobby||Center for Applied Special Technology|
Bobby is a web-based public service offered by CAST that analyzes web
pages for their
accessibility to people with disabilities as well as their compatibility
|DRUM||Serco Usability Services|
DRUM is a software tool, which has been developed by close cooperation between Human Factors professionals and software engineers to provide a broad range of support for video-assisted observational studies.
|Form Testing Suite||Corporate Research and Advanced Development, Digital Equipment Corporation|
Provides a test suite developed to test various web browsers. The test
provides a description of the tests.
The Usability Center (ULAB) is a full service organization, which
"Street-Wise" approach to usability risk management and product
excellence. It has custom designed ULAB facilities.
|Usability Sciences||Usability Sciences Corporation|
Usability Sciences Corporation has a usability lab in Dallas consisting
of two large offices separated
by a one way mirror. The test room in each lab is equipped with multiple
audio equipment, as well as everything a user needs to operate the
program. The video
control and observation room features five monitors, a video recorder with
switching, two-way audio system, remote camera controls, a PC for test log
purposes, and a
telephone for use as a help desk.
|Portable Usability Labs||UserWorks, Inc.|
UserWorks, Inc. (formerly Man-Made Systems) is a consulting firm in the
area specializing in the design of user-product interfaces. UserWorks does
market research, user interface design, rapid prototyping, product
competitive testing and analyses, ergonomic analyses, and human factors
research. UserWorks offers several portable usability labs
collection systems) for sale or rent and an observational data logging
|Usability Labs||Lodestone Research LLC|
Lodestone Research has usability-testing laboratory with state of the
art audio and
visual recording and testing equipment. All equipment has been designed to
be portable so
that it can be taken on the road. The lab consists of a test room and an
observation/control room that can seat as many as ten observers. A-V
two (soon to be 3) fully controllable SVHS cameras, capture/feed
capabilities for test
participant's PC via scan converter and direct split signal (to VGA
monitors in observation room), up to eight video monitors and four VCA
observer viewing, mixing/editing equipment, and "wiretap"
monitor and record both sides of telephone conversation (e.g., if
|OCLC Usability Lab||Online Computer Library Center, Inc.|
Provides insight into the usability test laboratory at Online Computer
Inc. It gives an overview of the infrastructure as well as the process
being used in the
|Usability Improvements in Lotus cc:Mail for Windows||Lotus Development Corporation|
Provides insight into how usability improvements were made in a highly
product, Lotus cc:Mail for Windows. The document discusses the entire
divided into four phases, of which, testing forms the second phase.
|Examining WWW - Lessons from Pilot Studies||Center for Research on Writing & Communication Technologies|
Is a paper on Lessons from Pilot Studies about Examining World Wide Web
findings are based on three projects: 1. The Online Catalog Project, 2.
School Application Forms Project, and 3. WWW and Multimedia Instructional
|Usability Testing - Netscape Navigator Vs. Microsoft Internet Explorer||Carolyn C Gargaro|
Provides the outcome of usability test conducted to compare Netscape
Microsoft Internet Explorer. The document is informative and gives a
starting point for
anyone interested in evaluating a product as compared to a competitor's
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This page was last modified on 1/12/99.