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Usability Testing with Real Data

Alex Genov, Mark Keavney, and Todd Zazelenchuk

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 4, Issue 2, February 2009, pp. 85-92

Article Contents


In this paper, we have argued that using real data in usability testing is one way to reduce the artificial nature of lab usability testing and to increase the validity of the study results. Accompanying the benefits, however, the use of participants' real data introduces several methodological and logistic challenges. Our discussion of these challenges centered around recruiting participants and obtaining their real data, analyzing the data, and addressing security and privacy issues associated with users' real data.


The authors would like to thank Kari Sortland, Sara Cole, and Matt Berent for contributing to the arguments and examples in this paper.

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