Why should I participate?
First of all, it helps organizations develop more usable products of
the sort that you will likely be using at work or at home. For years,
we've been asking developers to consider the users. Now they are and they
need users to consider. Secondly, you get to make a difference. Product
developers will use your information (don't worry - it will be anonymous!)
to help in redesigning the user interface. Last, you will be paid for
your time. We'll tell you how much when we contact you about a particular
What is involved in being a participant?
Often, we conduct studies at our usability lab in Silver Spring, Maryland, although sometimes we conduct remote national studies with participants who are at their home or office. Normally, we need participants for
one session lasting from 1 to 3 hours. We'll tell you the hours
that will be required when we call about the possibility of you being a
participant. Every evaluation is different but the usual evaluation would ask
you to do some tasks with a particular software product. We'd video tape the
computer screen and if you are in our office, we capture your face on video also (you'll be asked to
sign a video consent form). We treat video data as confidential
information. We use this as data along with noting the times users take to do
tasks and the difficulties they have. Frequently we'll either interview you
or have you fill out a questionnaire after the session for your opinions on
how easy the product was to use.
When do you do these evaluations?
We'll ask you when you fill out a form to indicate the best times for you
to do this. We work evenings, early mornings and weekends to try to
accommodate our participants (and to get the job done).
How soon will I be asked to participate?
Sorry, we really don't know that. It just depends on the work that clients
bring to us. When we find a particular evaluation that fits your demographic
information, we'll most likely give you a call and see if we can arrange a
How do I sign up?
Simply fill out our electronic demographic form and submit it to us and we'll enter the information into
our participant data base. Or if you'd rather, you can call us (301-431-0500) to request a
form mailed or faxed or e-mailed to you.
Any thing else I can do?
If you have family or friends that you think might be interested in
participating, feel free to point them to this web page (or give them our phone number) so they can sign up to participate too.