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MikeHogan

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We were doing usability testing for a public site that does outreach to the general public, especially English as second language users. Retirees were also a target audience.

While I was getting one participant settled in to begin the test, he says "I've never used a computer before. Is that a problem?" It took a second to realize that he actually did mean NEVER - not just a general lack of experience.

The big surprise here was that I get so immersed into the details and the field in general that I can overlook the possibility of something like this. Many retirees may not have computer experience, but this person works in the same company I do and is not elderly. I wanted to get a breadth of user experience, but I really didn't want to go that far in the "new user" direction! All in all, this was a good lesson in more careful screening and recruitment.

By the way, this is a great idea for a site and I too hope many more take advantage of it.
Steve Krug

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeHogan
I wanted to get a breadth of user experience, but I really didn't want to go that far in the "new user" direction! All in all, this was a good lesson in more careful screening and recruitment.


Ha! I imagine all of us who've been doing it for any amount of time have had one of those experiences. You just slap your forehead, say "Doohhh!", file away the lesson learned, and move on. Thank them for coming in, apologize, pay them, and then call your standby alternate and do a quick remote session. Happens to the best of us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeHogan
By the way, this is a great idea for a site and I too hope many more take advantage of it.


Thanks, Mike. I'm going to start publicizing it soon, and I hope it'll achieve the necessary critical mass.
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