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Technical Communication TC517, Autumn 2007
Usability Testing

Course assignments

The assignments in this class are a linked set, each of which builds on the last. You are expected to turn in assignments at the beginning of class on the day indicated. 

Assignment DescriptionPercentage of gradeDue date
1. Prelim ProposalPreliminary proposal of the usability issues your group will investigate. One-page (maximum) 

This assignment is not graded, but the more carefully you do it, the better your chances of success in the rest of the assignments.


Week 3

2. Problem StatementPrepare a detailed (5-page maximum) problem statement and audience definition; briefly discuss three articles that bear on the kind of problem you are going to investigate or the kind of procedure that you are going to use15%Wed

Week 5

3. Test Design KitPrepare a detailed test design kit that:

1. Describes the procedures that you will use to investigate the problems specified in your problem statement

2. Provides a participant profile and describes how you will verify that your recruits match it, and

3. Describes what data you will collect and how. Attach your complete set of test materials (script, participant profile, task list, etc.)


Week 6

4. Study ResultsDo a two-participant pilot study: run two participants. You will present the results of your study:

1. In writing, in the form of a formal written report.

40% Wed

Week 9

 2. Orally as an informal presentation to the class.

    a. Discuss one major finding and a recommendation for a change to the product

    b. Discuss one aspect of your study you would change if you were to run it again.


Week 10

Class participationBeing actively involved in class discussions, participating in workshops, being actively involved in your group's project and posting to the class discussion board 10%Ongoing