Week 11: Making Sense of Usability Data; Drafting Prototypes

Since I’m going out of town tomorrow morning, I thought I would update the class website early this week to make sure that everyone knows what to do before I come back.

If you have not already sent me a copy of your final testing protocol for the usability unit, please do so as soon as possible. Once I have approved your protocol, you can begin administering your tests. You should complete all of your tests (8–10 subjects) by next Monday, November 1. As you conduct your tests, keep in mind the issues we discussed in class today.

Next Tuesday, we will discuss strategies for analyzing your raw data and making recommendations to your clients. Before you come to class, please print and read the usability report for the University of Washington’s libraries (PDF). In addition, please find one additional example of a successful usability report and bring it with you to class. [Update: Anna had a great idea—let's share the links to the usability reports we found in the comments section of this post. Please add a new comment to this post with your usability report.] (You can find great examples of usability reports by searching for “usability testing report” or similar phrases.) In addition, your team should bring all of its testing data to class, either in electronic or print format.

On Thursday, we will spend the day in workshop mode, developing prototypes for your usability reports. Before you come to class, your team should determine three or four possible improvements to your test site that you plan to focus on in your report.

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14 Responses to Week 11: Making Sense of Usability Data; Drafting Prototypes

  1. Anna says:

    I wanted to leave the link to the successful usability testing report I found here because it is really long and in color and my printer doesn’t seem to want to handle either of those things. It’s a usability test of some WordPress interfaces, and it’s very thorough. They even did eye-tracking studies.


  2. Noah says:


    If you scroll down to the bottom of the aforementioned linked page, there is a section titled “Usability Reports.” Under this header are several templates for usability reports, including a long and short version, available for download.

  3. Chelsea says:

    Whoops! Scratch that first one. It’s the same report we are reading for Tuesday. This report is conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan on Zotero, which helps viewers with citations.


  4. Blake says:


    This is the University of Alberta usability reports. It’s very long and very detailed, so I know most people won’t read the whole thing. It’s a great resource, though, so I highly suggest at least looking at it, especially the Findings & Recommendations section since that’s a main focus of our reports.

  5. Lisa Marie says:


    This is the UR for the OWL writing lab at Purdue University. The report caught my eye because I’ve had so many professors say, “Go to OWL’s site and check the MLA citations.” Getting to see their UR report kind of puts it all into perspective, because I’ve used their site myself.

  6. Ariel says:

    This is the UR for Harvard’s website:

  7. Kel! says:

    A usability report on freeborders.com: http://keithaharmon.com/UsabilityTestReport.pdf

  8. Rachel says:


    UR for Apple’s iPad

    Jakob Nielsen’s summary of the report:


  9. Josiane says:

    A usability test report on the Humanities and Technical Communication Website at Southern Polytechnic State University for Graduate students.


  10. Holly says:

    The design on this one is horrible but this is a usability report for Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, and Time Warner’s websites. It’s also from 1994.


  11. Aine says:

    This is an Online Travel Sector Usability Report by web credible- the usability and accessibility specialists. (har har har)


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