Sonderegger Andreas, Sauer Juergen (2015), The role of non-visual aesthetics in consumer product evaluation, in International Journal of Human-Computer Studies
, 84, 19-32.
SauerJuergen, SondereggerAndreas, Heyden Klaus, BillerJasmin, KlotzJulia, UebelbacherAndreas, Extra-laboratorial usability tests: an empirical comparison of remote and classical field testing with lab testing, in Applied Ergonomics
Baumgartner Juergen, Sonderegger Andreas, Sauer Juergen, No need to read: Developing a pictorial single-item scale for measuring perceived usability., in International Journal of Human-Computer Studies
SauerJuergen, SondereggerAndreas, Hoyos Alvarez Mariana, The influence of cultural background of test participants and test facilitators in online product evaluation., in International Journal of Human-Computer Studies.
Extending the work of a preceding SNSF-project, the current project proposal focuses on the question of how the utility of usability tests can further be improved. While there is little doubt that usability testing is an effective product evaluation method, researchers and practitioners have identified a number of factors surrounding the testing context, which may have an undesirable impact on test outcomes and hence impair the effectiveness of usability tests. Therefore, these contextual factors are to be empirically examined and the degree of their influence is to be determined. The present research project is guided by the Four-Factor Framework of Contextual Fidelity, which proposes a number of aspects that are suspected to have such an undue influence on test outcomes. The proposed project comprises a total of eight experiments, focusing on three main areas. The first area (3 experiments) is concerned with methodological issues of usability testing. This work addresses the impact of using traditional testing approaches (e.g., lab-based testing and single-session testing) on usability test outcomes by comparing these with the more realistic testing conditions of field-based testing and of longitudinal approaches involving multi-session testing. Furthermore, this work includes the empirical evaluation of remote testing as a methodological approach adopted more recently in usability testing. The second area (2 experiments) addresses the influence of cultural background on the outcomes of usability tests. Given that many products are developed for international markets, there is an increasing need to better understand the implications of carrying out usability tests in different cultures. A systematic empirical evaluation of usability test outcomes across several cultures will provide evidence for the influence of intercultural differences. The third area (3 experiments) is concerned with the influence of product features that are unrelated to product usability but still appear to have an influence on perceived usability and sometimes even on objective measures of usability. Examples of such product characteristics include product brand but also visual and non-visual aesthetic features. The proposed project is expected to create benefits at several levels. First, it will provide practitioners with recommendations about important issues to be considered during usability testing, notably concerning the utility of various methodological approaches. Second, the research community will benefit from the empirical data generated by the planned experiments since it allows a more precise assessment of the degree of influence of each of the factors being examined.