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Exploring Experience Design by Ezra Schwartz

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Lab versus field testing

Depending on the product and testing objectives, designers have options ranging from lab testing, where real-life scenarios are simulated such that all participants can engage and assess the same interactions, to field testing, where user-product interaction is evaluated in real-life settings, but changing conditions make it harder to ensure situational consistency across all testers.

For those who need to approach usability testing with the rigor of scientific research, or because real-life testing is unsafe, such as early testing of new commercial or military airplanes--usability test labs provide an environment for testing under optimal controlled conditions--while the testing participant is performing simulated ...

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