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Convergent Usability Evaluation: A Case Study from the EIRS Project

Jeff Johnson
UI Wizards, Inc.
231 Moscow St.
San Francisco, CA 94112
Catherine Marshall
CollabTech, Inc.
395 Del Monte Center #200
Monterey, CA 93940
Erik Nilsson
chair of CPSR's
Working Group on
Voting Technology


Americans voted
Americans voted, or tried to vote. When there were problems,
EIRS volunteers recorded voters' stories and followed up.


Two non-profit organizations developed a Web application to help monitor U.S. elections: the Election Incident Reporting System (EIRS). The mostly-volunteer team had only four months to develop a workable system. The aggressive schedule, limited budget, and distributed team-structure challenged us to find creative ways to evaluate and improve EIRS’ usability. We used an approach that combined expert UI review with opportunistic exploitation of venues for gathering data on EIRS’ usability. This approach, which we call convergent usability evaluation, had, in the non-profit environment, advantages over the more formal methods typically used for commercial projects.  In this paper we describe the usability evaluation methods we used for the EIRS project and discuss how they converged to provide a more complete picture than we would have obtained by conventional methods.

Author Keywords:

Rapid development, non-profit projects, open-source projects, social issues, user-centered design, usability evaluation methods.

-> Continued on p. 2: Introduction

Created by hdihuyen
Last modified December 22, 2005 05:51 PM

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