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1

Here is an application that emulates slow connection: it limits the bandwidth to test sites as if they were seen on dial-up or adsl: Sloppy.


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I personally try to avoid going in with a fixed number in mind. Instead I treat it as a continual process where we carry on interviewing while we're still learning new things (sometimes called the saturation approach). The point where we're start hearing the same stories repeatedly is the point where we move the focus from research to analysis and ...


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One simple thing you can do is run Fiddler and go to Rules > Performance > Simulate Modem Speeds. Another option if your site is public is to use webpagetest.org and change the connection speed under advanced options before you run your test.


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While referring specifically to usability, the following article by Nielsen states that five are already enough to find out a lot of issues. This is close to the 8-12 rule mentioned by danimu: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/why-you-only-need-to-test-with-5-users/ I also remember reading about a "rule of thumb" for qualitative research that goes like this: ...


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Academic studies tend to say between 8-12 is optimal for qualitative research. However if you are targeting discrete groups of users (e.g. teachers and students) you may need 8-12 of each discrete type. In my experience, the cost starts exceeding the benefit after about the 8th participant. The following factors should also be taken into account: ...



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