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Re: Usability research


Hey Ilya, I like the approach your taking with this.
Sorry i dont have anything constructive to say, i just cant see anything wrong with it.
Ryan Macnish

Date: Sat, 5 Jun 2010 14:54:40 -0700
From: haykinson@xxxxxxxxx
To: ubuntu-manual@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Ubuntu-manual] Usability research

I wanted to run the following by you -- this is my proposed approach for research for the Maverick cycle. Please comment as soon as possible, as I'd like to lock to an approach rather soon.

Usability ResearchResearch is a key value for UMP. To adhere to this value, we will undertake one or more research projects with every release cycle, in order to better understand our userbase and to improve our products.
Maverick Cycle ResearchDuring the Maverick cycle, we will conduct a series of usability interviews aimed at improving the chapters of our manual devoted to operating system installation, and run a survey aimed at understanding common computer tasks with which users may need some help.
Usability InterviewsDuring the Maverick cycle, our goal for interviews is to understand the effectiveness of the installation instructions contained in Getting Started With Ubuntu. We are trying to answer the following research questions:

Are the instructions in our manual sufficiently helpful for new users attempting to install Ubuntu for the first time?
How can we improve our installation instructions for new Ubuntu users?
More specifically, we will interview users from our target audience and observe them as they follow our manual and perform an Ubuntu installation. To avoid bias stemming from prior knowledge of Ubuntu (which may skew research results), we will attempt to recruit two groups of users: 1) users without Ubuntu experience who do not express a desire to switch to Ubuntu, and 2) users who have some Ubuntu experience but who do not use Ubuntu as their primary operating environment.
ParticipantsWe will interview a total of 10 Ubuntu users, most likely in the Los Angeles area, for approximately 90 minutes. In order to compensate participants for their time, we will run a crowdfunding campaign aimed at creating a fund of $600-800 to be distributed amongst the ten participants (a common rate for studies). We will video-record each usability session and present a summary of the research to UMP. All video recordings and other research results will be licensed using CC-BY 3.0 and posted online.
TimingOur team will finalize the design of the usability test by the end of May 2010; at this point, we will begin recruiting participants. Recruiting will cease by June 6, and usability testing will occur no late than two weeks after this deadline.

SurveysOur survey goal for the cycle is to understand our target audience's typical approaches to everyday computing on home desktop or personal laptop computers; this way, we can help our team prioritize improvements and focus for our documentation products. We will develop and administer a survey asking questions related to demographics, technical expertise, lifestyle, computer use. Subsequently, we will analyze the results in segments after grouping survey responses by operating system choice and other factors. We will present research results to UMP.  Could this section also include clearly articulated research questions, as the first section does? -Bryan Behrenshausen 5/21/10 3:29 PM 
RespondentsWe will recruit respondents using multiple channels including direct user outreach (craigslist, flyers, etc), email promotion (mailing lists, etc), and social media (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, forums, etc). By participating in the study, respondents will earn a chance to win $100 delivered via a secure payment method (PayPal, Western Union, etc). As the study will be crowdfunded, the cost of prize delivery will be subtracted from the prize itself.
TimingAgree on course of action    June 8

Finish test design    June 22
Ensure funding    June 25

Recruiting for test    June 18 - 25
Test administration
    June 26 - 27
Test results    July 4
Finish survey design    July 9
Survey administration
    July 10 - 18
Survey results    July 22

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