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Usability testing: theory and practice

DF21700, 2009VT

Status Archive
School Human-Machine Interaction (HMI)
Division IXS
Owner Arne Jönsson

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Course plan

No of Lectures


Recommended for

Doctoral students in computer science or cognitive science, with an
interest in usablity, human-computer interaction, or interaction

The course was last given


The course aims at providing a solid foundation in collecting,
analyzing and presenting usability metrics, coupled with the issues of
usability test moderating. This can be learnt theoretically to some
extent, but to really master the subject one has to practice. Hence,
the two complementary theoretical and practical parts of the course.


Basic knowledge in human-computer interaction and usability.


The course consists of two parts, one theoretical and one practical
part. The theoretical part is organised as a set of seminars with
student presentations and discussions around the central issues.

The practical part is organised as a usability testing project, where
each student is carrying out a usability test of a system, under
supervision, and presenting the outcome in a presentation and a
written report. Each student is also supposed to be present as an
observer during another student's usability test, to evaluate
moderation issues and give constructive feedback to the other student.


Collecting, analyzing, and presenting usability metrics, including for

- Planning a usability study

- Performance metrics

- Issues-based metrics

- Self-reported metrics

- Behavioural and psychological metrics

- Combined and comparative metrics

Usability test moderation, including for example:

- Initial contacts

- Interaction during the session

- Interaction during post-test activities

- Moderator-participant arrangements

- Interaction with diverse populations

...plus some additional advanced issues, e.g. comparing usability
evaluation methods.


Tom Tullis and Bill Albert, 'Measuring the User Experience:
Collecting, Analyzing and Presenting Usability Metrics', Morgan
Kaufmann, 2008.

Joseph S. Dumas and Beth A. Loring, 'Moderating Usability Tests:
Principles and Practices for Interacting', Morgan Kaufmann, 2008.

...plus a selection of research articles and papers.


Johan Åberg, plus possibly guest lecturers.


Johan Åberg


Successful presentations and active participation in the seminars and

Successful usability testing project, presentation and report, and
observation of another student's usability test.


7.5 ECTS (5p)


Page responsible: Director of Graduate Studies
Last updated: 2012-05-03