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An international peer-reviewed journal

Extremely Rapid Usability Testing

Mark Pawson and Saul Greenberg

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 4, Issue 3, May 2009, pp. 124-135

Article Contents


The Product and Context

Athentech states that Perfectly Clear Pro® is a digital image enhancement software designed to correct a digital photo to match what the human eye sees when the picture was taken. Without getting into technical details, Athentech developed a process that overcomes camera limitations and produces photos that yield what the photographer saw when capturing the image.

Athentech licenses this technology to photographic labs and to industry leaders such as Fuji, Blacks, Ritz, and Walgreens for use in kiosks and mini-labs. They also wanted to enter the professional consumer market. To this end, Athentech regularly attended trade shows to understand the problems photographers face with digital imaging and with existing software tools on the market. They then developed Perfectly Clear Pro® as their first venture into developing a product for the professional and serious amateur photographers.

In our specific case, Athentech was keen to take an alpha version of Perfectly Clear Pro® to PhotoPlus, a major trade show and exposition whose tag line is "…to be on the cutting edge of what's happening in photography and imaging" (http://www.photoplusexpo.com). However, Athentech had not yet performed any usability evaluations. They believed the show represented a tremendous opportunity not only to get their product in front of many potential customers in a very short time but to try to understand where the alpha version succeeded and failed.

From prior experiences, we knew that running usability tests in a booth would be quite different from the usual evaluation setting.

A testing regime has to be fluid in order to respond to these constraints. Consequently we designed ERUT to focus on the following two primary objectives:

While this meant that some aspects of the software would be ignored, we hoped that ERUT could determine the usefulness and usability of the core product.

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