Chapter 1. Introduction

What do we mean by “beyond the usability lab” and “large-scale online user experience studies?” The usability lab has been, and continues to be, a great resource for learning about the usability of some product based on a relatively small number of users. But Web technology now enables us to move beyond the lab and efficiently conduct user experience studies with a much larger sample of users—hundreds or even thousands. That's where the large scale comes in. Traditional lab studies with small numbers of users will usually let you detect the most obvious usability issues. Getting at the less obvious, but still significant issues, comparing multiple designs, or even getting at a user's likelihood to buy your product, takes ...

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