Impacting the usability evaluation process : selecting testers based on their characteristics of field dependence-independence and domain knowledge
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The purpose of this study was to investigate what impact selecting usability testers based on their characteristics has on the usability evaluation process. The investigation entailed noting what problems testers identified and examining if the tester's characteristics may have contributed to the problem identification process.Twelve participants were selected to be usability testers based on field dependence-independence classifications and their identification of driving ability. A usability test was used to observe the participants completing an eLearning simulation module; the module provided training on the searching and scanning of the roadways whilst driving. The usability tests were recorded using Morae and included the collection of a participant's expectation measure as well as the completion of a problem identification report. Scorecards showing the participants progress as they completed the eLearning module were also noted and used as data in the research. The qualitative data were coded using priori codes to identify what problems occurred during the usability testing process. Results indicated that participants who were field independent and did not have knowledge of field in which the simulation was written identified the most problems. The complexity of the simulation and the research methods both contributed to the interpretation of the results. Implications of these results are discussed and suggestions for future research are provided.
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