As The Lab Rats Scurry...I'm Trying To Counted Them


I was really curious about usability testing and how it affects designers in creating their websites. What I'm confused about was the table under number 2 (Plan to Quantify Your Results). I do not think that it is possible to add a quantitative value on the usefulness of websites. I do not see the necessity for using quantitative value on the usefulness of websites. Is it just for the measurement of improvement? Is it for something more? I really don't know how numbers can help HTML and homepages. Is this the "move beyond opinion" that I need for the usability testing?  

All I need is answers to these questions that haunted me all weekend.




I think you need quantitative results because it is hard to lie with numbers. I really could care less that a mole is equal to 602 followed by 23 zeros, but at the same time, it is such a large and awkward number that there must be some reason behind it. I can go back and look at the equations to see how Avogadro arrived at that number and how chemists prove it everyday. It is much harder to go back and look at people's qualitative ideas with such concrete proof. I could always wonder if the person believes in what he or she says, or is that person just playing the part of someone who believes in what he or she says. Of course, you still have to interpret the quantities correctly, but it is much easier to catch a mistake quickly and efficiently with math than it is by analyzing someone's words...unless the world was full of English majors. Wouldn't that be nice?

I had another thought. Somewhere I remember saying that usability testers have to prove things to people who have become emotionally attached to the things that they have designed. When you use numbers, it makes your ideas seem more factual and less like an attack on the designers' ideas.