University of Turku
Why we chose what we have? Well, we had a limited amount of money and we wanted to be able to carry out “traditional” usability tests of computer programs and mobile/PDA applications. So, we needed a video camera (conventional plus a wireless video camera), equipment for converting computer screen signal into video (scan converter), mixer for overlaying two video signals, a computer for storing the data and a program for analyzing the data.
During the tests, overlaid video signal is stored as MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 files on the hard drive. We do not use live logging of tasks and events, but the data are logged after the tests with The Observer Video-Pro. In quantitative studies, summary statistics (task completion times, error rates) are exported to Excel and/or to SPSS for further analysis.
The photos show students carrying out their group work of the course “Usability testing”, in the test/analyzing situation with most of the equipment. The manual of The Observer, clearly visible in the middle picture has been a valuable asset throughout the course!
The test room is visible through the one-way mirror. The test room is equipped sparsely; there is only a standard PC with an Internet connection, a video camera, and a mobile device camera when necessary.
The large monitor shows The Observer software with a picture-in-picture view of the test subject’s computer and a close-up camera view. The small monitor shows the video source signals and the settings of the video mixer.
Laboris Usability Laboratory
Department of Information Technology University of Turku