SIGIA-L Mail Archives: SIGIA-L: Re: Searching Behavior
SIGIA-L: Re: Searching Behavior
From: Jude Griffin (jgriffin_at_msh.org)
Date: Thu Sep 20 2001 - 17:55:00 EDT
Just to add to the pool of anecdotes, I had some eye-opening
experiences when doing user testing in Harare. Some highlights:
1. Users would type their email name into the Name field at Hotmail,
even if their email was their company email. For example, Mary would
try to access her email mfundace_at_africahealth.org by typing in
"mfundace" in the Hotmail name field.
2. Users would start each new search by hitting Back over and over
til they reached the first page opened by the browser. This was a
university home page, not even a search page.
3. Users had trouble distinguishing between ads and actual content. I
remember one user panicking when that hoary old banner ad "You have an
error" appeared at the top of her screen.
4. Moving from Zimbabwe to Viet Nam, one user who wanted to register
at our site thought the field labelled "Password" was a request for
the password to his email account as opposed to a password for his
account on the site.
5. And to add to the senior experience, my father thought he couldn't
access his AOL account all summer because he had turned off his phone
service while travelling.
I always find it fascinating to have yet another of my assumptions
revealed by user behavior I could never have predicted.
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