Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Factors & Systems


Human Factors and Systems

Committee Chair

Dahai Liu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Christina Frederick-Recascino, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Remzi Seker, Ph.D.


Advances in usability are directing developers towards creating a better and all around friendlier environment for users. Unlike when buying a physical product where you purchase it first and then experience its usability, web site usability is immediately present. So, if a site doesn't meet our needs, we as users, are quick to look elsewhere. Some research has suggested that fidelity makes no significant impact on users' ability to locate errors or problems in a web site. This paper is intends to investigate the interaction between fidelity and task vs. non-task user testing with regards to the types of problems experienced by users. The goal is to identify the most efficient types of user testing. User testing is conventionally designed to emulate typical user situations and tasks. However the goal of testing is to find all possible problems with the interface's design and correct or improve them. Asking users to perform typical tasks may not uncover all of these problems. Asking users to perform a non-task or browse the interface may provide additional information. And the interaction between fidelity and task should suggest that both types of tasks are needed at varying degrees of fidelity to ensure a quality user interface.

Included in

Ergonomics Commons