The Reliability of Data Gathered via Paid Internet Users
There are a number of usability testing tool in the market today developed to evaluate website usability. These tests are done by companies such as EasyUsability, Feedback Army, and Usertesting.com. The service involves paying individuals to be used to test the usability of a website. Normally, it is hard to get normal people with their daily operation sacrifice their time to answer to any survey. In this case, paid testers are preferred to ease the testing process. One of the main advantages of this method of recruiting testers is that a website is reviewed by users from all corners of the world. In this regard, the gathered information serves great importance to the website owners in directing on where to adjust.
Paid testers process also makes it easy to involve a huge number of users for the review. However, most paid testers are young people who have a very high ability to navigate through different websites due to their high level of familiarization with these sites. In this regard, the result obtained does not fully represent the population ability to work with the sites in question but the ability of the youth population subset. In this regard, a website which could be credited by these users may demonstrate a different experience for other individuals in the population for instance the old who are not very familiar with this technology. Thus, though helpful, the results obtained from this research is quite bias based on the users experience with websites. The research fails in integrating users from all age groups and experience difference. Thus the result may not be very reliable. Nevertheless, the results are good enough to assist the website owners to make adjustments to improve the website (Sauro, 2010)
Evaluation Method being used by the Testing Company
Testing companies employ different techniques to evaluate the usability of applications or websites. Some of these techniques include the use of secret cameras to record users’ activities and experience, the use of sensors to record users’ navigation of the site where non-visual and verbal recording of browser activity takes place, and vocal comments of the testers. The testing company installs a hidden camera in a number of computers that users have to use to access a certain website. In this case, the user’s moves and experience are visually recorded and thus, the company can be able to see the ease of navigation and sections that demonstrate problems based on the feedback the user receives or the message displayed on the screen after a move. The video is very important since it tells all without any users’ narration. The use of a sensor to record verbal and non visual aspects of navigation is another technique employed by the testing company.
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