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Screen Snapshots 

What is it?

Snapshots is a method where the user takes screen snapshots at different times during the execution of a task or series of tasks.

How do I do it?

Like most user testing, you provide the user with software and have him or her perform various user tasks with the software. In addition, you provide the user with a snapshot program and instructions for when and how to take the screen snapshots.

When should I use this technique?

This technique is best used in the early to middle stages of development, when you have some working software to be evaluated but are not to the point of requiring full testing. Snapshots are most often used in conjunction with other remote inquiry methods, such as journaled sessions or self-reporting logs. In journaled sessions, the journaling software usually tracks the user's interaction and can be thought of as a series of user-taken snapshots. With self-reporting logs, however, snapshots can provide a much-needed visual basis for interpreting the user's comments in their logs.

Who can tell me more?

Click on any of the following links for more information:

Castillo, José, Remote Usability Evaluation Home Page, 1998.

Nielsen, Jakob, Usability Engineering, 1993, Academic Press/AP Professional, Cambridge, MA
ISBN 0-12-518406-9 (paper)

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