Rutgers University

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User Evaluation

Learn how to efficiently evaluate prototypes of user interfaces

Course Overview: 

This course trains students in the theory and practice of evaluating the user-friendliness of interactive products, prototypes or concepts with the goal to optimize them. Methods like usability testing, heuristic evaluation, web analytics, eye tracking and interaction modeling are introduced. Because of its relevance, special emphasis is spent on usability testing and its various techniques including thinking aloud vs. performance testing, and face-to-face testing vs. remote testing. Students are taught the elements of research such as care in collecting data, avoiding unsubstantiated interpretations and, in general, understanding the difference between qualitative and quantitative research. Several usability evaluation projects are carried out as part of this course, allowing students to practice the planning and organizing of an evaluation, effectively executing the study, and convincingly communicating the results to others in order to affect design changes as needed.

Prerequisites: 

UXD I is required for all advanced UXD courses, however the follow-on courses need not be taken in order.  In other words, to enroll in UXD III, you must have completed UXD I, but you do not need to complete UXD II.

Course Outline: 

Topics in the course include:

  • what to test in a software prototype;
  • when to perform the testing;
  • how many users to use;
  • how many studies to run;
  • who to select and where to find representative users;
  • the process of running a usability study;
  • how to analyze the data collected in the study;
  • using the videotapes of the study to sell needed changes in the interface design;
  • how to run studies on groupware products;
  • how to run in situ (mobile) studies;
  • how to run remote studies;
  • what to trust and not trust in a study's results; and
  • experiment design and statistical analysis.

All offerings of this course: