Magazine article Information Today

Datasearch Launches Datasearch Labs

Magazine article Information Today

Datasearch Launches Datasearch Labs

Article excerpt

Datasearch, an information consulting company known for its user-centered studies of information products, has announced the launch of Datasearch Labs (http://www.datasearchlabs.com). The new subsidiary will continue to provide confidential usability testing services using the testing protocol developed jointly by Datasearch and the Human-Computer Interaction Group of Cornell University.

Susan Feldman, president of Datasearch, will oversee the testing. The Human-Computer Interaction Group will collaborate with Datasearch Labs on product focus groups and evaluations. According to the announcement, Judy Boggess, an expert in evaluation and decision making, has joined Datasearch Labs to administer the new entity.

Usability tests include two qualitative testing modules, which can be contracted as separate services. The first module is a focus group examination of the product. Software is tested on both Macintosh and Windows platforms, using both Netscape and Internet Explorer browsers to ensure that the product is compatible with all combinations. The focus group comprises information professionals, experts in interface design and evaluation, and users of information systems. This session puts the product through its paces and examines all functionality. The second module consists of a series of individual sessions in which users who represent the target market for the product are filmed and taped as they navigate the system. Detailed logs and a summary report are provided to the developer. The report covers overall comments, as well as a list of pros, cons, and suggestions for improvement for each interface page. Numeric user ratings are tallied and provided as well. In addition, Datasearch Labs offers quantitative surveys of user responses to product questionnaires. …

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