Announcing Open Virtual Usability Lab (VULab) alpha
nate.angell at rsmart.com
Tue Jan 6 17:00:26 UTC 2009
Ron, thanks for the announcement and your work on the VULab. It sounds
like it can become a valuable resource.
I'm wondering if the VULab is a resource that can be used by other
open source communities that may be related to Fluid. I'm thinking
specifically of Drupal (http://drupal.org) and OpenID (http://
openid.net) communities, that I have been encouraging to contribute to
and benefit from Fluid's work.
Would it be OK to share your "alpha" announcement more widely?
On Jan 5, 2009, at 5:26 PM, Ron Owston wrote:
> I am pleased to announce that we now have an end-to-end working
> alpha version of VULab at http://vulab.yorku.ca.
> You can create your own login as a "researcher" and then create a
> login for a "tester". Then login as the researcher and create a new
> "project." A project consists of a pre- and a post-session survey
> and the url that you want a "tester" to visit. At the end of project
> creation you assign the tester to the project and activate the
> project. Then login again as a researcher and view your tester's
> video and survey responses.
> I have prepared a 3-part video explaining the steps in conducting a
> study with VULab at http://vimeo.com/channel26973 . I urge you to
> view the video before attempting to use the tool, especially video
> Part 1 that explains how to create a survey which at this point is
> still somewhat idiosyncratic.
> For those of you unfamiliar with the application, VULab is designed
> for remote usability testing. VULab records, on its server, remote
> users’ interactions with a web site. The application also has a
> built in survey tool that allows researchers to ask users questions
> at the beginning and end of their usability testing session. The
> data collected on the VULab server then can be analyzed by the
> researcher to identify usability issues with the website. A unique
> feature of the application is that it does not require remote users
> to install the software application on their computer as they only
> need to download a small Java applet at the time of the session. All
> recording is done on the server.
> Known issues with VULab:
> 1. the captured video plays back too quickly. I suggest using a
> video player that allows you to reduce the playback speed eg. with
> VLC hit the minus key several times (and turn off the sound
> 2. audio and video aren't synching properly yet.
> 3. work still needs to be done on the layout and css of the web
> 4. exporting of survey data not yet implemented.
> 5. uploading of screen snapshots is fairly slow--it takes at least
> as long to upload as the length of the user's visit to the website
> being tested. The user can't take the post-session survey until the
> upload is completed.
> You can report back any issues to this list, but Colin is creating
> the list vulab-users at fluidproject.org which will take most of the
> traffic related to end user experiences. This will be announced
> And finally, Happy 2009, to all members of the Fluid community and
> thanks for the support you've given our project over the past year!
> Ron Owston
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