SALT Interactors



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Test Harness

Test Procedure

Final Report


Interactor Tests
Version 1


Interactor Tests
Version 2






The usability tests consisted of two test phases separated by one week.  We tested an initial set of interactors in phase 1, then analyzed the results, made changes to the interactors, and tested the changed interactors in phase 2.


The usability tests were performed on laptop computers configured with Internet Explorer, Microsoft Speech Application SDK version 1.0, and a headset (with both headphones and microphone).


The test subjects were all volunteers, with about half recruited from the Portland State University campus, and about half recruited from a local church group.  Volunteers were over 18 years of age, but were otherwise of diverse ages and backgrounds. We did not collect or use demographic information in recruitment of volunteers – volunteers simply needed to be 18 and without a thick accent.  We did not accept computer science students. 


Each test session consisted of 10 to 11 individual test cases, one for each interactor, with the order of test cases randomly selected to avoid any training bias in the results. The test cases were html pages that used a simple test script to run the interactor appropriately and record performance metrics. Each test case consisted of 2-3 test scenarios, in which the test subject was asked to use the interactor in a different way. Each test subject was given a short set of verbal instructions before the test case began.  At the end of each test case the test subject was asked to rate the test case (see preference metrics ) and were also encouraged to enter comments. Each test case took between 2 to 3 minutes each. A complete test session generally took between 20 to 30 minutes per test subject.


Test sessions were controlled by a cgi script that determined the random order of the test cases, and entered the preference, performance, and comment data collected by each test case into a database.

The tests were created according to this Test Harness and this Test Procedure.  After all the testing was done, a Final Report was created.


The released interactor tests (version 1 and version 2) could be found on the sourceforge website - they are both zip archives containing all the necessary files, plus a file to reconstruct the database, and a README with instructions.




Portland State University
Capstone Summer 2004