RESCUE research on social media and collaborative software use in emergencies (2014-2017)

WP5 kickoff for usability study

by Hallvard

The Finnish team involved in work package 5 (WP5) in the RESCUE project recently kicked off 2016 with a meeting where the layout of an upcoming usability study was discussed.

The idea within WP5 is to make sure that usability aspects are included in the products and concepts developed within the European RESCUE project. Usability is about designing things according to what the intended user needs and wants, instead of forcing the user to change one’s habits in accordance with how the product was designed.

One way to investigate usability is to test how easy it is to use unfinished prototypes of products, and then continue designing according to what the tests have shown. This is one of the strategies used in the RESCUE project.

The testing methods we use consist of collecting a combination of interviews and similar subjective data, as well as eye movements, level of frustration, and other forms of objective data. This is done while the participant tries out the prototype. For each study, the research team decides about the perfect combination of methods after talking to product developers and having a look at the whereabouts of the prototype. And as this was the main topic of the WP5 kickoff in January, we’ll post an update with study results after collecting the first wave of data later this Spring.

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