A Comparison of What is Part of a Usability Testing in Three Countries

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    Abstract

    The cultural diversity of users of technology challenges our methods for usability evaluation. In this paper we report and compare three ethnographic interview studies of what is a part of a standard (typical) usability test in a company in Mumbai, Beijing and Copenhagen. At each of these three locations, we use structural and contrast questions do a taxonomic and paradigm analysis of a how a company performs a usability test. We find similar parts across the three locations. We also find different results for each location. In Mumbai, most parts of the usability test are not related to the interactive application that is tested, but to differences in user characteristics, test preparation, method, and location. In Copenhagen, considerations about the client´s needs are part of a usability test. In Beijing, the only varying factor is the communication pattern and relation to the user. These results are then contrasted in a cross cultural matrix to identify cultural themes that can help interpret results from existing laboratory research in usability test methods.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
    PublisherDepartment of Informatics INF, Copenhagen Business School
    Number of pages17
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    SeriesWorking Paper / Institut for Informatik. Handelshøjskolen i København
    Number04-2009
    ISSN1399-1779

    Keywords

    • Usability test
    • Cultural usability
    • Ethnographic interviewing

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