Oliver Tomlinson – Usability testing: self-directed project (Spring term 2010)
The section in the book describing
(birds of prey) flights andhunting techniques has a number of links to another section describingspecific falconry tasks. The reader is required to navigate the book using across referencing system. Two design variants were tested; spread A refers to adesign where cross references are located under the body text, whereas spreadB locates the cross references in the photos. The cross references in both testsshare similar design characteristics (type colour, typeface and within acoloured banner). Appendix A contains the two design approaches seen in thetest spreads.
Two spreads of the same book section were printed at actual size, oneusing spread A references and the other using spread B. The author carried outthe test with each participant within a quiet room with few distractions,reading out the statement below before commencement:
Initial participant dialogue
Each participant was asked to find a reference to either ‘hooding’ or‘flushing game’ in each spread; to reduce the impact of learning they were notasked to search for the same reference in both spreads. To obviate the
“On the page in front of you there are some references to specifictasks involved in flying a bird of prey. In a moment I would like youto turn over the piece of paper and tell me what page you wouldfind an explanation on
hooding/flushing game [choose]
. I shall betiming your response but please be aware, this is not a test of your ability, I am testing the design effectiveness of this page. I havetwo different pages to try”.