The Effectiveness of Instant Messaging versus Telephone Communication for Synchronous Remote Usability Evaluations

by Edlin, April L.

Abstract (Summary)
Multiple studies comparing remote usability testing to traditional laboratory testing indicate that both methods yield similar results. Now that confidence in the value of remote usability studies has been established, the human factors community would benefit from a comparison of remote testing methodologies in order to identify their advantages and disadvantages. The study compares instant messaging (IM) and telephone communication when used for synchronous remote usability evaluations. No significant differences were found for task completion status, task completion time, or questionnaire results. Significant differences were found between total word counts per participant. Average word counts for telephone usability tests were nearly five times that of IM usability tests. Overall, the telephone condition yielded more favorable results and richer feedback than the IM testing condition. Results from this study suggest that telephone communication is more effective than IM when used for synchronous remote usability evaluations.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Barbara Wildemuth

School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:human computer interaction remote usability testing evaluation methods user interfaces


Date of Publication:01/04/2005

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