Labs/Ubiquity/Usability/Usability Testing/Fall 08 1.2 Tests/Tester 05

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An advanced technical user runs into a few problems, but gets through each one.

The original, high quality version is under the public domain At the Internet Archive. For originals without the web-cam video feed please contact


<video type="viddler" id="45555078" width="437" height="315" desc="1x Video Full screen hack" frame="true" position="center"/> <video type="viddler" id="abcddf7f" width="640" height="442" desc="2x Video Full screen hack List of tags here." frame="true" position="center"/>



  • Invokes Ubiquity 1:06
  • Notices Hotkey setting 0:31

Qualitative Summary

While the user did notice the hotkey settings (no one else did) his guesses as to what they were for was incorrect.

While this user was the quickest to find Ubiquity he was a friend of the facilitators. His previous eagerness to impress upon the facilitator his technical skills made him act more carefully than he would have, tainting this rating.


  • Goes to tutorial 1:38
  • Auto suggest confusion 4:03
  • Ubiquity covers up tutorial 6:13
  • Mousing auto-suggest 18:59
  • Mousing auto-suggest 17:17

Qualitative Summary

There were two problems observed in this test concerning the documentation being outside of the UI.

The first was a mental mismatch, the screen shot showed the user what a command fully typed out. When the user selected the text he was surprised that the command prompt hadn't been pre-filled for him. While this issue is minor it does highlight the difficulty of documentation writing and how expectations and understanding can be different than what is written or shown. This causes more severe usability problems in later tests.

The second was the that while typing the user could not reference back to the written documentation because the command prompt blocked his view. This happened as well when participants tried using Aza's video, they couldn't refer back to the correct time in the video. Trac 540


  • map+ 12:51
  • mapinsert- 13:16
  • mapinsert- 14:10
  • mapinsert+ 15:02
  • translate+ 17:18
  • translate+ 17:45
  • email+ 18:43
  • email+ 19:33

Qualitative Summary

The second define tag (define +/- 10:56) is an incident where the user searched for Sudo. The dictionary didn't have it and there was no fall back to other data sources.

Map insert gave a particular amount of trouble as the user saw the documentation showing a different state than the default state that the map preview initially comes up in. While we could change the documentation, most people would simply not know of map inserts existence. Trac 542.


  • Wants: Attach files to email 8:25 Trac 541
  • Wants: Command History 16:40 67

Demographic Information

Questions taken from the FF Survey

Pretest Questionnaire
Age What OS do you normally use? How long have you been using Firefox? Rate your computer skills. Time on web per week?
23 Microsoft Windows 1-2 Years Experienced User 6-10 Hours
How many computers do you regularly use? Which are the following are you familiar with using online? Have you ever used the Firefox Ubiquity before? Do you know what a Command line is? Comments
  • Email (Any)
  • Google's Gmail
  • Search Wikipedia
  • Language Translation Websites
  • Maps/Lookup directions
No, I do not know what it is Yes (please tell us your history below) Limited experience.

Posttest Questionnaire
Do you think most people would figure out how to use Ubiquity very quickly? Guess how frequently you would use Ubiquity in the future. Comments or suggestions. Is there something that the help is lacking?
Neutral Sometimes Break into multiple pages, not just one big scrolling adventure. Would like some sort of window persistence / docking functionality. Inserting non-native content onto any page you like (map insert) might be a bit presumptuous.

The testers last comment has to do with copyright and whether the author would want people inserting there work elsewhere.

See Also

Fall 08 1.2 Tests