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OZeWAI 2003

Evaluation Laboratory Sessions*

A conference activity that has proven very successful at the 'Museums and the Web' conference series is the continuous evaluation laboratory. In this session, a site owner (or two) volunteers a site and two people are picked to test it, talking aloud as they work their way through it. It is ghood if the volunteers are friends, or at least colleagues.

The volunteers are removed from the room while the site's owner explains what they were trying to achieve and the features of which they are most proud. (The owner is often better in this role than the authors.) They demonstrate the site during this process. The audience thinks of a scenario and roles for the volunteers, and some tasks that will exemplify the use of the features.

When the volunteer evaluations re-renter the room, they are told of their roles and fed the tasks that the audience, in their absence, chose for them. They talk aloud and to each other as they work on the tasks. The audience members evaluate the site as they listen to and watch the volunteers.

This exercise is, of course, a usability exercise, but it has proven to be great fun and is very useful to both the authors and the audience. It happens continuously, so people can join the audience or leave as they choose. Each site is given about 15 minutes (I think) and that is broken into three parts, with a short time for reflection by the audience after each evaluation.

The volunteers will either be people who are familiar with using adaptive technologies, and using them, or they people who will be asked to navigate text or image-less versions of the sites.

Participants in the conference will want to consider their sites, and prepare a little presentation, if they wish to participate in this session.

Those interested in chairing this session should contact Liddy Nevile, please.


* Special thanks to Paul Marty for notes and a demonstration of how to make these sessions fun and effective. Paul is Director of Information Technology , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA.

Links: OZeWAI 2003 home page | contacts | programme | venue details