UTILIZING EMPLOYEES AS USABILITY PARTICIPANTS:
EXPLORING WHEN AND WHEN NOT TO LEVERAGE YOUR COWORKERS
Usability testing is an everyday practice for usability professionals in corporations. But, as in all experimental situations, who you study can be as important as what you study. In this Note we explore a common practice in the corporation: experimenting on the company's employees. While fellow employees can be convenient and avoid issues such as confidentiality, we use two usability studies of mobile and web applications to show that employees spend less time-on-task on competitor websites than non-employees. Non-employees reliably rate competitor websites and apps higher than employees on both usability (on the 10-question SUS scale) and ease of use (on the 1-question SEQ scale). We conclude with recommendations for best practices for usability testing in the corporation.
Joanne Locascio, Rushil Khurana, Yan He, and Jofish Kaye. 2016. Utilizing Employees as Usability Participants: Exploring When and When Not to Leverage Your Coworkers. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 4533-4537. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2858036.2858047