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Nielsen Norman Group usability project

From: Joe Clark <joeclark@contenu.nu>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2001 18:50:58 -0400
Message-Id: <a0510031cb741bf55d056@[65.92.106.24]>
To: w3c-wai-ig@W3.org
I had a lengthy discussion with a Nielsen Norman Group functionary 
about the alleged you-can't-miss-it posting of the details of its 
usability survey involving blind or mobility-impaired subjects. Of 
course, even to this very moment there is no information whatsoever 
at useit.com or alertbox.com, the two related sites.

I was eventually given the following information, which I pass on for 
the good of humankind without especial endorsement. I particularly 
love the "must be in the job market" proviso, which presumably 
includes people without jobs who are trying to find one. It would be 
cynical to view this phrase as a malapropist euphemism for "no 
long-term-unemployed need apply"-- a group who, because their 
disabilities are often particularly severe or uncommon in effect or 
combination, might make for a more demanding test cohort in the first 
place. I think you know what I'm getting at here without my beating 
the drum any further.



HIGH-PROFILE, CONSPICUOUSLY-POSTED,
WIDE-OPEN WORLDWIDE ANNOUNCEMENT begins:

Nielsen Norman Group is a usability and user experience company that 
specializes in making things simple for people to use. Our principals 
have written some great books, among them "The Design of Everyday 
Things" and "Designing Web Usability- the Practice of Simplicity."

We are in the process of conducting a study to determine the 
usability of the Web for people who use assistive technology, either 
1) a screen reader, or 2) screen magnifiers. Braille devices seem to 
be a lot less common in the US, but we would also be interested in 
these devices.

While there are general guidelines about designing for the Web, we 
have not seen much research where people actually ran usability 
studies with real people. We would like to do this to learn the 
extent of the kinds of issues people face, and recommend ways Web 
developers can fix these problems or avoid them in the future.

We need people to participate in our study. If you would be willing 
to forward the following information to any adults who use assistive 
technology and the Web, we would appreciate it. We would be willing 
to make a donation or pay an honorarium to any people who choose to 
participate in the study. Thank you very much.


STUDY PURPOSE:
Learn about usability and the Web for people who either use a screen 
reader or screen magnifier. Based on findings, we will recommend 
guidelines for developers to design websites that are easy-to user 
for everyone. Although we will publish the results of our research, 
no personal information about the participants will be released.

Note that the users are not being tested or evaluated in any way. 
Instead, it is the websites we will be evaluating.

TIMING:
June, 2001 through August or early September. Each individual study 
will last between one and two hours. Studies are conducted with one 
user at a time, not a focus group.

PARTICIPANTS:
We need many. These are the three groups of people:

1)	People that need to use (and do use) a screen reader (or 
Braille device for the Web)
- They must be in the job market.
- They must be between the age of 20 and 55, as evenly distributed as 
possible, and no more than one student.
- They should have been using the Internet for at least three months.

2)	People who are not totally visually impaired. They do not use 
or need to use a screen reader. They do use a screen magnifier (blow 
up the screen in some way.)
- They must be in the job market.
- They must be between the ages of 20 and 55, as evenly distributed 
as possible, and no more than one student.
- They should have been using the Internet for at least three months.

3)	People with motor impairments; defined as people who cannot 
use a mouse. - They must be in the job market.
- They must be between the ages of 20 and 55, as evenly distributed 
as possible, and no more than one students. - They should have been 
using the Internet for at least three months.

We're especially interested in finding users who live in/near NYC and 
California Bay Area (but please also respond if you are in a major 
New England or West Coast metro area). Those on the East Coast should 
contact <coyne@nngroup.com> (Kara Coyne). West Coast volunteers 
should respond to <farrell@nngroup.com> (Susan Farrell) by replying 
to this message.

Again, thanks for your interest!

Susan Farrell

http://www.nngroup.com (about our firm)
http://www.useit.com (about usable web design) 
http://www.useit.com/alertbox (Jakob's usability newsletter and 
archive)

West Coast
Susan Farrell <farrell@nngroup.com>
User Experience Specialist - Nielsen Norman Group Important! I will 
be out of town until July so please write to Kara@nngroup.com if you 
need more information in June.


East Coast
Kara Pernice Coyne
Senior User Experience Specialist
Nielsen Norman Group
kara@nngroup.com
www.nngroup.com
New York, NY
646.613.1122
-- 
         Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
         Author, _Building Accessible Websites_
         (New Riders Publishing, October 2001)
         Bookpage: <http://joeclark.org/book/>
         Bookblog: <http://joeclark.org/bookblog/>
Received on Monday, 4 June 2001 18:53:04 GMT

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