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What do you think about writing a tally sheet for measuring the quantity and system-response-time of specific interactions?

My goal is to identify the most frequent interactions and to categorize these by the time it takes the system to response. With the resulting data I am planning to write down ux requirements regarding minimum expectations the users have at the moment. Background: There is an anfounded but weighty requirement from the upper-management which says that the redesign of the application has to be done with a web-client - of course not considering the users expecations and habbits.

Do you think this is a useful approach - or is there another/better way?

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A tally sheet can be a good place to start, especially if you want to identify with users which application interactions are worth measuring and narrow the field down to things that are most urgent. Another good reason to use a tally sheet would be if your organization does not have a lot of experience with automated application performance management tools.

Typically as companies get serious about performance measurement you will extract and analyze all of this data automatically and the tally sheet will go out the window. You haven't written how you envision collecting the performance data (this will typically be in milliseconds), but it's possible that you would complement your tally sheet with data you've extracted using logging or other profiling techniques that you add to your code.

Ultimately even if your tally sheet results in a small bit of useful data, it will generate some interest.

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It is just one aspect of the 'user experience' that you can capture, and in general it is good to try and quantify something rather than base on just assumptions and gut feelings alone. The tricky thing is that the environment of the user may not be the same as those that you are standardizing for your analysis, so you still have to make some assumptions about what the baseline or benchmark should be.

I suggest that another useful thing to try and quantify is the actual number and types of interactions that exists on the pages. These values are not dependent of the system setup or network configuration, and will give a more useful measure of how well the designs are and the impact of the changes you make to your designs.

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