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The experience testing Variations2 reported here illustrates the struggle to balance these concerns. Early Variations2 tests were designed to ensure tasks addressed all topics of interest in a meaningful way by having participants complete activities structured around scenarios. Scenarios introduce the context within which the tasks will be completed. Scenarios ask participants to imagine themselves in typical classroom or study situations. The ideal result is that participants view tasks not as merely “clicking and following instructions”, but as doing something that would actually make sense if they decided to use Variations2.

65-70. , Lovin, V. M. (2003), “The gateway to educational materials: an evaluation of a online resource for teachers and an exploration of user behavior”, Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 21-51. Frumkin, J. (2004), “Defining digital libraries”, OCLC Systems & Services, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 155-6. A. pdf Hoffman, R. and Krauss, K. (2004), “A critical evaluation of literature on visual aesthetics for the web”, Proceeding of the Southern African Computer Lecturers Association, South African Institute for Computer Scientists and Information Technologists, Pretoria, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, 4-6 October, pp.

Similarly, with scenarios, users may be more creative; with instructions the focus on getting through the steps. A lengthy scenario can also cause users to judge a task to be too hard to understand and simply skip it. A more effective way to present scenarios is as a combination of introductory, context-setting prose followed by a list of more directive steps. This presentation helps reduce cognitive load and shift user focus from figuring out what a task is about to actual performance. Designing tasks for DL user tests 305 OCLC 21,4 306 A scenario that is authentic for one group of test participants may not be authentic for another group.

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