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Beyond the Usability Lab by Donna Tedesco, Thomas Tullis, William Albert

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6.6.2. Comparing alternative designs

As many of the examples in this chapter have illustrated, you tend to get the most information out of an online usability study if you can compare your results to something. The comparisons might be done within the study itself (e.g., the Obama and McCain Web sites) or they might be done to previous tests. Whenever we can, we try to set up online usability studies so that we can do comparisons within the study itself. This encourages our design partners on a project to come up with design alternatives that they want to try out. We think this is healthy, especially early in the design or redesign of a Web site, because it prevents you from getting “locked in” to a particular design too early. We like the ...

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