Learning to Speak UX:
A Usability Case Study
Prepared by: Brian Gaines, Clemson University
Prepared for: MAPC Thesis Committee, Clemson University
Dr. Tharon W. Howard
Dr. Susan Hilligoss
Dr. Sean Williams
Submitted: March 4, 2014
“User Experience Design (UX)”, also known as “Usability,” “Information
Architecture,” “User Interface Design,” “User-Centered Design,” and a plethora of other
nomenclature to describe a multidisciplinary set of user-centric practices has gained
traction within the last decade in regards to designing for the Web. Because of the
ubiquity of computers in people’s everyday lives, designing for the user takes on a
particularly salient role.
In the case of the Web interface, and in particular social media interfaces, creating
a context for experience- the behavioral, emotional, and experiential responses of the
user- are valuable commodities (Buxton, 2007). Paying attention to these factors could
mean the difference between success and failure in regards to social media.
Because of the relative youth of User Experience Design, unique challenges may
be present for those who wish to capitalize on the benefits of designing from the user’s
perspective. The multidisciplinary nature of UX suggests a discourse that may seem
foreign, especially to those whose discourse may reside in a normative organizational
culture (Deetz, 2001).
In this case study, the usability researcher addresses the problems associated with
understanding what is meant by the user-centric collective of usability, the need for
educating the client on what usability is or is not, and the challenges of communicating
the needs of the user to the client in a manner that can be easily understood.
Background and Context
InnoVenture.com, a Greenville, S.C. based company that connects organizations to
entrepreneurs and their ideas, was founded in 2003. In 2004, the company started the
annual InnoVenture Conference, a series of networking events with the goal of
connecting entrepreneurs to interested parties with resources and beneficial business
relationships. The format for the sessions at the InnoVenture Conferences included
presentations of 10 slides presented within eight minutes to large groups (500+) with the
goal of facilitating innovation among interested parties. In the wake of the success of the
InnoVenture Conferences, CEO John Warner- a businessman with 30 years experience as
an executive, investor, board member, and adviser to companies and not-for-profits from
start-ups to New York Stock Exchange listed firms in a variety of industries (LinkedIn
profile, 2014)- launched the social media component of InnoVenture, LLC in November
2012 (J. Warner, phone interview, Sept. 13, 2013). To date, InnoVenture.com has
approximately 2,200 participants from 32 U.S. states and 34 countries.
Warner also is a regular contributor to the South Carolina Business Review, a
podcast hosted by South Carolina Educational Television, which is also broadcast on
statewide National Public Radio affiliates. As a result of the podcast and his business
relationships over the past 30 years, Warner has established a high degree of credibility
among business people within the Southeast. As of March 3, 2014, Warner had 1,523
endorsements for various business practices, including startups, entrepreneurship, venture
capital, strategy, and business development (LinkedIn profile, March 3, 2014).
Warner, in an interview on September 13, 2013, asserted that InnoVenture.com
distinguishes itself from other business-related networking interfaces, such as
LinkedIn.com, by creating a series of communities centered on an entrepreneur’s ideas
rather than the individual (J. Warner, phone interview, Sept. 13, 2013). Participants of the
communities, or networks, within InnoVenture.com, are classified into two types of
users: the “Presenter” and the “Follower”. The Presenter is generally characterized as
someone who has an entrepreneurial or innovation-based endeavor, and has a desire to
share this concept, known as a “Big Idea”. This Big Idea consists of a name for the
concept or idea, a 140-character or less description or “elevator pitch,” and a description
of the needs for the entrepreneur to further develop the concept (J. Warner, phone
interview, Sept. 13, 2013). The Big Idea is presented via the Presenter’s profile page, or
within the context of a larger network of like-minded individuals, in order to be followed.
Optionally, a Presenter may also upload slide decks, videos, and longer descriptions to
further explain the concept. InnoVenture.com also advocates to the Presenter that having
a list of contacts (names and email addresses) of individuals (Followers) who are already
familiar with the idea presented, as they act as allies in promoting the ideas to individuals
and entities with the resources to assist in further developing innovative ideas (J. Warner,
phone interview, Sept. 13, 2013).
Figure 1. Innoventure.com homepage, current iteration. 2014.
During the initial interview, Warner also stated a desire to identify current
usability problems within the interface, such as navigation, number of clicks to complete
a task, and visual design issues. Warner also stated that emphasizing user-created content
and streamlining the process of networking between entrepreneurs and those with
resources and relationships to aid in the development of ideas is a top priority. Warner
felt that by improving upon these areas, the user experience would be thusly improved (J.
Warner, phone interview, Sept. 13, 2013).
Validation of this model, through monetary donations, had furthered Warner’s
resolve to develop InnoVenture.com into what he refers to as the innovation engine for
the region (Warner, phone interview, Sept. 13, 2013).
Warner also stated that, through an enhanced user experience, InnoVenture.com
strives to establish itself as a “disruptive business” (Warner, phone interview, Sept 13,
2013). Clayton Christensen, in the Harvard Business Review, has argued that creating
disruptive businesses offers the biggest source of growth and is the only way in the long
term to continue creating shareholder value (Christensen, et al., 2002). The disruptive
business model, which in itself is based upon a “disruptive innovation,” creates entirely
new markets and business models (Christensen et al., 2002). Through the enhancement of
the user experience, InnoVenture.com wanted to establish connections between
entrepreneurs and interested parties with connections to resources and relationships, etc.,
which could result in what Christiansen describes as a robust process for creating and
launching disruptive innovations (Christiansen et al., 2002).
This overview of the startup’s goals is important, as we shall see in later
discussion. However, at the time, Warner seemed to have a clear understanding of why
usability testing would be beneficial to InnoVenture.com. As we will later see, a
difference of conceptual models concerning usability caused friction between the client
and researcher, a questioning of the researchers credibility, and finally the dissolution of
the client-researcher relationship.
To understand how a difference of conceptual models affects usability testing, we
must consider that the interface as the common ground for discourse between the
usability researcher and the client (Laurel, 1993). The interface- acting as a medium in
which users experience InnoVenture from the usability researcher’s perspective and as a
tool that delivers results from the client’s perspective- became more of a ground of
contention and led to the breakdown in communication between the two parties.
Furthermore, what both the usability researcher and client think about the other and their
respective roles in regards to usability testing for the interface informed the conceptual
models (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Diagram of differences of conceptual models (from Laurel’s “Computers as
Theatre”). The blue bar represents the interface.
To gain a better understanding of the researcher’s conceptual model of usability,
we must first gain a base understanding of the fundamentals of “usability,” “user
experience design,” “information architecture” and other nomenclature that constitutes
the emergence of a multidisciplinary practice that has roots in technical communication
(Getto, et al., 2013). Because of the multidisciplinary nature of usability and its emerging
role as a recognized practice in the technology sector (Redish and Barnum,), a clearer
definition of what usability entails is necessary.
A literature review was conducted by the usability researcher to define usability
and to inform the researcher’s conceptual model of usability. An emphasis was placed on
Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) to correlate with determining the relationship
between Innoventure.com and users of the interface. The following literature indicated
the user was the most important factor when designing a system. These findings were
especially beneficial to the research design and data collection for this study.
When a user accesses a web interface, finding information should require little
effort, the interface should be easy to use, and navigation should be simple. These factors
affect the usability of a particular web interface.
Usability, as defined by Jakob Nielsen, is a quality attribute related to the ease of
use of an interface. Usability is defined by five quality components:
• Learnability: How easy is it for users to accomplish basic tasks the first
time they encounter the design?
• Efficiency: Once users have learned the design, how quickly can they
perform the tasks?
• Memorability: When users return to the design after a period of not using
it, how easily can they reestablish proficiency?
• Errors: How many errors do users make, how severe are these errors. And
how easily can they recover from these errors?
• Satisfaction: How pleasant is it to use the design? (Nielsen, 2000)
Moreover, functions such as navigation, connecting to and contacting other users,
and creating content within the interface should be readily apparent. The first immutable
law of usability, according to Steven Krug, is “Don’t make me think!” (Krug, 2009). That
is, a user of a web interface should not have to be taught to navigate a particular interface,
but rather, the interface should be intuitive, allowing the user to easily identify the
location of information.
Jonathan Lazar supports these claims by stating:
When Web sites are created, the usability of the Web site should be an important concern. Web sites should
be designed so that they are easy to use. The users should be able to easily find the content that interests
them, and the users should not frequently be confused or “get lost in cyberspace.” (Lazar, 2003)
Additionally, Lazar identifies six separate categories relating to the usability of an
interface. These are: Navigation, Information Architecture, Download Time,
Accessibility, Internationalization, and the Use of Graphics and Animation. Because the
markup languages used to create the interface are universal and Warner has a defined
visual identity, only the first four categories will be considered.
• Navigation: In web navigation, users need information on where they
have been, where they are, and where they can go (Lazar, 2003). In
addition to providing users with site navigation that allows them to reach
their task goals, the navigation on the web page must itself be easy to use
• Information Architecture: Closely related to navigation is the
information architecture. How the web interface is structured, and how the
users navigate through the site (Lazar, 2003).
• Download Time: Download time is a major frustration to users. Several
studies have shown a correlation on download times and the user’s
perception of the interface. An increased download time can change the
user’s perception of whether the interface is interesting (Ramsay, Barbesi,
& Preece, 1998). An increased download time can also change the user’s
perception of the quality of the web interface (Jacko, Sears, & Borella,
2000). Moreover, a long download time may cause users to believe that an
error has occurred (Lazar & Norcio, 1999, 2000, 2002). Actual download
times can vary because of a number of factors, such as server load,
network traffic, etc., the file size of a web page can be determined by the
designer. Nielsen suggests a 10-second download time as the limit for the
web (Nielsen, 2000).
• Accessibility: An important usability consideration when designing for
the Web is that the interface is accessible to many different populations,
including those with disabilities. Users may be viewing pages using
adaptive devices, such as screen readers. The hearing impaired may be
unable to utilize streaming audio and other multimedia, such as videos.
Designing for accessibility is part of a larger trend called universal
usability, in which information systems will be designed for ease of use
for a variety of populations, including the disabled, the elderly,
economically disadvantaged users, and users with different technology,
download speeds, and browsers. (Lazar, 2003).
In recent years, the term “user experience” (UX) in regards to a user’s interaction
with an interface has become part of the technological lexicon, particularly among those
in the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) community. In an effort to standardize the
practices of measuring a user’s experiences in human-computer interactions, the
International Organization for Standards (ISO) defines user experience as
User experience includes all the users’ emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions,
physical and psychological responses, behaviors and accomplishments that occur before, during
and after use.
(ISO 9241-210:2010, Ergonomics of human-system interaction—Part 210: Human-centered
design for interactive systems)
This definition provides a fundamental framework for what user experience is, as well as
reinforces the emergent multidisciplinary practice of user experience as credible through
the ethos of ISO.
In a further effort to define user experience, Marc Hassenzahl and Noam
Tractinsky have developed three perspectives that attempt to contribute to our
understanding of a user’s interaction with technology. These perspectives are described
as: Beyond the Instrumental, Emotion and Affect, and The Experiential.
• Beyond the Instrumental: In the early days of HCI research, the task was
the pivotal point of user-centered analysis and evaluation techniques (e.g.,
usability) (Hassenzahl & Tractinsky, 2006). Designing for the user
experience includes concepts that go beyond the instrumental (i.e., cannot
be quantified), such as aesthetics, surprise, and intimacy (Hassenzahl &
Tractinsky, 2006). User experience, through these concepts of non-
instrumental aspects, attempts to create a holistic, more complete HCI.
(Hassenzahl & Tractinsky, 2006).
• Emotion and Affect: Based in Affective Computing’s recognition of
affects and emotions, UX is concerned with affective consequences from
the human perspective. While Affective Computing deals with negative
emotions and experiences, UX is concerned with positive emotions such
as fun, joy, and pride (Hassenzahl & Tractinsky, 2006). Hassenzahl and
Tractinsky cite two basic levels of dealing with emotions in UX: The
importance of emotions as consequence of product use, and their
importance as antecedents of product use and evaluative judgment
(Hassenzahl & Tractinsky, 2006). The latter is based partly on Donald A.
Norman’s concept of the Visceral Level of Processing, in which the brain
analyzes the world and responds (Norman, 2004).
• The Experiential: The experiential perspective on UX emphasizes two
aspect of technology use: its situatedness and its temporality (Hassenzahl
& Tractinsky, 2006). An experience can be a combination of elements,
such as the product and the mood of the user. Furthermore, Hassenzahl
and Tractinsky argue for the differentiation of an experience and
Forlizzi and Batterbee (2004) go a step further and distinguish between ‘An
Experience’, which ‘can be articulated or named, has a beginning and end, [and]
inspires behavioural and emotional change’ and ‘Experience’ as ‘a constant
stream of ‘‘self-talk’’ that happens when we interact with products’. The former
acknowledges the experiential as complex, unique and thus, outstanding and hard
to repeat. The latter view underlines the temporal aspects of experiences, their
subjectivity and dynamics. (Hassenzah & Tractinsky, 2006).
Hassenzahl and Tractinsky also question whether a designer can design for an
experience, or whether to acknowledge the positive experiences, successes, and joys are
the result of the product (in this study, a web interface) or other situational aspects.
Based on the literature review, it should be clear that the conceptual model of
usability for the researcher shared these prejudices. An interface that is intuitive,
efficient, memorable, error-free, and pleasant to use is paramount. Moreover, it is
essential that the interface be easily navigable, have a well-defined information structure,
quick download times, and be able to be easily used by those with disabilities or
impairments. Lastly, by considering the perspectives that contribute to a user’s
interaction with an interface-Beyond the Instrumental, Emotion and Affect, and the
Experiential-the usability researcher is considering the user at the center of the human-
computer interaction model.
On September 26, 2013, a heuristic evaluation of the InnoVenture.com interface
was conducted to gain insights as to what areas of the interface may need to be revised.
This evaluation revealed a glut of potential user issues, which were submitted as a report
to Warner. The following recommendations were submitted to act as a catalyst for
refining the InnoVenture.com interface in future iterations.
Figure 3. Screen capture of InnoVenture.com homepage, early fall 2013
Through the heuristic evaluation of the InnoVenture.com interface, several easily
remedied usability problems were discovered. The minor adjustments that were
suggested could result in a more usable interface. While these recommendations were not
exhaustive, they did hint at some usability issues that could have been addressed.
Warner seemed reluctant to heed the recommendations of the heuristic evaluation.
In an email dated October 1, 2013, Warner was dismissive of many of the suggestions in
the evaluation. Comments attached to the returned report reflected his frustration at the
findings. In regards to recommendations regarding the homepage, Warner alluded to
prior experiences with usability professionals. He stated, “Everyone I have ever worked
with starts with the home page. If you are introduced to an idea, which is how most new
users get to the site, the first page you see is an idea presentation page. This is much more
important than the home page.” (Warner, email, October 1, 2013). Despite the
protestations of the importance of Innoventure.com’s homepage, by December some of
the suggested changes had been implemented (Figure 4). However, suggestions
concerning the slogan and the large amounts of text were ignored.
Figure 4. Screen capture of InnoVenture.com homepage, present-day.
The Client’s Conceptual Model
In a face-to-face meeting on October 3, 2013,Warner outlined his conceptual
model for improving the user experience for InnoVenture.com. The most salient feature
of this conceptual model was based on what he referred to as the “Two Screens
Scenario.” In the Two Screen Scenario, a Follower or potential Follower opens an email
to follow a Big Idea, participate in a webinar, or other InnoVenture, LLC, sanctioned
event. In Warner’s words, the user would open the email, click on the link to the idea,
and in turn, follow the presenter of the idea, attend the webinar, or indicate attendance to
a live InnoVenture-sponsored event (Warner, interview, October 1, 2013; Phone
interview, January 27, 2014). The email itself was an idea that Warner referred to as the
“first interface” (the First Screen), and later in the meeting as the “First UX” (Warner,
interview, October 1, 2013). “The Second Screen,” according to Warner, was the end
result of clicking a hyperlink embedded in the email that the recipient would click to
navigate to the Presenter’s Big Idea on the InnoVenture.com interface (Warner,
interview, October 1, 2013). Warner had also stated in this meeting and in phone
conversations that integrating his Two Screen Scenario into certain communities, such as
the Clemson University Alumni Network, would increase the traffic on
InnoVenture.com. He further asserted that linking the two communities would increase
the possibility of a Presenter’s idea being paired with individuals and resources to further
develop the concept. To further illustrate the importance of growing a network, Warner
disclosed that the Innoventure.com interface equips the Presenter with the ability to
upload as many as 250 contacts at a time in order to promote their Big Idea (Warner,
phone interview, September 13, 2013; Interview, October 1, 2013).
Another key component of Warner’s conceptual model of usability refers to what
he called “The Nut” (Warner, interview, October 1, 2013). The Nut, according to Warner,
involved “getting the followers,” “finding the signal in the noise,” “user agreement,”
“tuning to the signal,” and the “ubiquitous problem: Too many options, and not one more
thing to check.”
To the researcher, The Nut seemed to refer to marketing to potential users of
InnoVenture.com. The ubiquitous problem, in particular, seemed to refer to the issue of a
potential user being inundated with yet another social media platform.
While Warner’s conceptual model for usability may revolve around a potential
Follower opening an email and navigating to a predetermined page, some semblance of
usability did occur. A day prior to the October 1 meeting, Warner emailed the usability
researcher a document titled “InnoVenture.com Enhancements.” Drew Felty, a Clemson
University MBA student and InnoVenture Presenter, was interviewed about possible
changes to the current interface to improve its usability. Within the document, Felty
outlined 13 areas he felt would enhance InnoVenture.com. Among the 13 areas outlined,
integration with other social media platforms seemed to be the most salient. Integrating
with LinkedIn or similar discussions was mentioned 16 times in the three-page document.
While this document attempted to coalesce with the researcher’s conceptual
model of usability, it should be noted that Felty has the second most Followers on
InnoVenture.com, behind Zachary Eikenberry. Warner often uses these two individuals
as examples of the success of the InnoVenture.com interface. While the intention of
attempting to design for the user is evident, gathering insights from a variety of users
would have proven to be an unbiased indicator of what users of the system desire.
To Warner, his conceptual model of usability seems to involve growing a network
and merging it with a larger, more established network (the Clemson University Alumni
Association). This network interactivity is based, in part, on those who have successfully
promoted their Big Idea within the InnoVenture network. By introducing these Presenters
to a larger, more connected audience; Warner will have facilitated a large-scale
partnership between academia and business in a new model.
In regards to the InnoVenture interface, Warner has stated that he “only focuses
on the positives and not the negatives” (Interviews, October 1, 2013; October 8, 2013).
Because users such as Felty and Eikenberry have used the interface in a successful way,
Warner has chosen to focus on them as models of success rather than the hundreds who
have not been able to use the interface successfully. The privileging of certain
InnoVenture.com members, namely Eikenberry, Felty, and a handful of other Presenters
who have amassed more than 100 Followers, evidences this. These Presenters are
representative of an anomaly, and not the average Presenter, who as we shall see later,
has not been as successful.
The differences in Warner’s and the researcher’s respective conceptual models of
usability, as well as Warner’s reluctance to consider the researcher’s conceptual model of
usability may have contributed to the ensuing friction concerning several aspects of
testing of the InnoVenture interface.
As stated previously, Warner had explicitly stated that the homepage of
InnoVenture.com was not important to his Two Screen Scenario. While the two screens
may have benefitted those few individuals who have successfully promoted their Big
Idea, this reluctance to develop the interface outside of this closed system could alienate
other populations within the interface. The homepage, as a navigational and structural
device, serve an important purpose.
From the perspective of the researcher’s conceptual model, having a frame of
reference for users unfamiliar with the site to orient themselves is a crucial navigational
tool. A functioning homepage, with buttons or links in which to navigate back to this
orientation area can accommodate the divergent ways in which various users navigate an
interface (Krug, 2006).
Warner’s reluctance to engage in enhancing the user experience outside of his
definition framed within the two-screen discourse seemed contradictory to his earlier
statements of wanting InnoVenture to be “the innovation engine of the region.” Steve
Krug, the information architect, consultant, and user experience designer, offers a
compelling argument in the case for usability testing. Because individuals think
differently, have differing knowledge bases and skill sets, and use the Web in divergent
ways, usability testing acts as a broadening experience and can provide a fresh
perspective on an interface (Krug, 2006). Testing, even on a small scale provides insights
into designing an interface form a user-centered approach. Testing on as few as one
person offers 100% more insights on the interface’s usability than no testing at all (Krug,
2006). Furthermore, even poorly designed usability tests can still expose areas of
improvement that can have far-reaching impacts on a web interface, ranging from
insights to extreme cases of improving cost efficiency (Krug, 2006).
Usability testing can also serve to change people’s attitudes about users.
Observing users interacting with an interface can provide as an excellent feedback system
in which the user is giving the observers feedback and insights never before considered,
thus informing current and future products (Dumas and Redish, 1999). In Garrett’s
Strategy Plane, from the Five Planes of User Experience, user research, user testing, and
usability all serve to make products easier to use (Garrett, 2011). Through contextual
testing methods, such as task analysis, a close examination of how a user interacts with
an interface or product allows for improvements to be made based upon studying the user
in their “natural habitat” (Garrett, 2011).
Warner’s conceptual model of usability, which involved rapid growing of the
InnoVenture network, was also at odds with the researcher’s conceptual model. Warner’s
fervent desire to promote the uploading of a Presenter’s contacts was consistent with his
desire to rapidly expand the InnoVenture network. Small groups are better conversational
environments and tend to foster convergent thinking (Shirky, 2008). As groups grow in
size, it becomes impossible for everyone to directly interact (Shirky, 2008). This
phenomenon, known as a Small World Network, emphasizes a quality over quantity
approach to network building.
Through another phenomenon, known as the Birthday Paradox, Shirky posits that
reaching and maintaining an agreement among group members grows more difficult as
the size of the group increases (Shirky, 2008). In short, a Small World Network, in which
all members are striving to reach the same goal, would prove more productive to the
Presenter of a Big Idea versus uploading large numbers of potential Followers as
The friction resulting from the two divergent conceptual models of usability and
Warner’s reluctance to consider the usability researchers recommendations would soon
reach a great point of contention.
Putting Out Fires
On January 26, 2014, Warner, Web Developer George Manley, and the researcher
attended a particularly heated conference call. During this particular call, Warner and
Manley were emphatic that Warner’s conceptual model of usability was the preferred
method of enhancing the user experience. Warner also explicitly stated that the only
usability he was concerned with was the Two Screen Scenario and how the researcher
could “make the emails more usable” (Warner, et al., phone interview, January 27, 2014).
Warner further asserted that testing potential and current users would not help him realize
his goals in any way. Manley, echoing Warner’s sentiment, stated that usability testing
“was wrong, and is actually the opposite of what works in the real world” (Manley,
phone interview, January 27, 2014). Manley also asserted that because of his decade-long
experience as a Web Developer versus the experience of the researcher, that he was more
knowledgeable in the practices of usability (Manley, phone interview, January 27, 2014).
Despite the heated discussion during the conference call, an agreement was made
to continue with the think-aloud usability study as planned by the researcher. In dealing
with resistance, such as that exhibited by Warner, it was important to handle it well. By
realizing many clients want confirmation, not change (Block, 2011), the researcher was
able to determine that resistance was a part of the consultation process, especially when
the conceptual models involved were seemingly diametrically opposed.
In order to minimize resistance, and to convince Warner that usability testing
offered many insights to making InnoVenture a more usable system, the researcher’s
negotiation skills had to be of paramount importance. By “separating Warner from the
problem,” it was possible to achieve an elegant solution (Fisher, et al., 2011). In other
words, when Warner suggested that the actual usability testing being conducted was not
consistent with his Two Screens Scenario, the problem wasn’t necessarily with Warner,
but rather with the issue of the vagary of the jargon surrounding User Experience.
Furthermore, Warner’s interests in making InnoVenture a successful social media and
business platform consistent with his conceptual model, was operating independently of
his position as to what usability actually is (Fisher, et al., 2011). In order to reach
agreement on the usability test, the researcher agreed to participate in propagation of the
Two Screen Scenario within his own InnoVenture network.
With an agreement in place, the researcher was free to conduct the think-aloud
Research Design and Data Collection
The usability test for InnoVenture.com was broken into three major sections. The
first section, involved interviews with John Warner and George Manley, InnoVenture’s
Web Developer. From these interviews, it was discovered that both Manley and Warner
stated the desire to identify potential usability issues with the interface in an effort to
attract new users, as well as to gauge current user’s experiences with the site (Warner,
phone interview, September 13, 2013; Manley, interview, October 8, 2013). An
agreement with Warner was negotiated to survey early users of the InnoVenture
interface, with Warner determining the respondents as well as having final approval over
the survey questions. The survey was sent to 385 InnoVenture users, with 75 users
responding. The survey consisted of a combination of open response questions and a five-
point Likert-type survey. While the validity of the data cannot be confirmed as entirely
accurate (Warner administered and reported the data), some interesting insights were still
yielded. The questions themselves were geared towards the value of connections made on
the InnoVenture interface, as well as some of the features Warner deemed relevant to the
success of the interface, such as uploading 250 contacts at once. In regards to the Likert-
type responses, a “valuable connection” was defined by Warner as a relationship formed
that resulted in a connection to individuals with resources or relationships that were
beneficial to the Presenter.
When asked if any valuable connections had been made on InnoVenture.com,
29% of the respondents indicated that, yes, valuable connections had been made. Forty
seven percent of those who responded indicated that they had not made a valuable
connection. Nineteen percent of the respondents were unsure, and five percent of the
survey participants did not respond.
When asked if they were aware of how to make valuable connections, 61%
indicated yes, 11% were not aware, 24% were not sure, and 4% did not respond.
In regards to being aware of uploading up to 250 contacts at a time, 56% of the
respondents indicated yes, 23% indicated no, 15% were unsure, and 4% did not respond.
When asked about valuable connections that were made as a result of regularly
updating progress on a Big Idea, the respondents indicated that 19% of them did in fact
make valuable connections, 60% did not, 20% were unsure, and 1% did not answer.
The open response section of the survey varied among the 75 respondents, with
the majority giving support for Warner and the site, or promoting their own Big Idea. A
few respondents suggested linking to other social media platforms, such as LinkedIn,
Facebook, and Twitter. One respondent called for a feature to reach out to potential
“We are trying to reach out to potential customers. Our InnoVenture connections are not
potential customers but industry partners or business associates. The platform does not seem to be
directed to market development. It seems like we are all swimming in our own bath water. We
attended the conference last Nov in Greenville, SC but did not score one customer hit.”
While this statement can be considered contrary to Innoventure.com’s mission, it
reinforces Krug’s idea of users engaging with the Web in divergent ways (Krug, 2006).
After reviewing the survey responses, the researcher felt it was time to design and
implement a task analysis in order to determine the interface’s actual usability. Warner,
who at this time was somewhat skeptical, had agreed to this form of testing in fall of
2013 (Warner, email, September 26, 2013).
Steve Krug, in his influential User Experience design book, Don’t Make Me
Think, suggests that the optimal number of users in each round of a usability test is three
to four (Krug, 2006). In an effort to exemplify academic rigor, the number of participants
for this particular usability test was 10. Among the 10 participants for the study, the ages
ranged from 22-29, with 6 of the participants being female, and 4 being male. Eight of
the participants were U.S. citizens, one hailed from China, and one was from Germany.
One of the participants held a doctorate, two were Ph.D. candidates, 2 were Ph.D.
students, and the remaining 5 were graduate students in various Master’s programs. All
of the participants had self-identified as having an interest in entrepreneurship and
innovation, as well as self-identified as being “Internet savvy.” Three of the participants
had a working knowledge of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style
Sheets (CSS) or other scripting languages, and one of the participants had recently built a
The second portion of the study involved a task analysis coupled with a think-
aloud protocol, followed by a System Usability Scale (SUS) survey and an informal
interview. The task analysis, which took place in Clemson University’s Usability Testing
Facility, using Techsmith’s Morae Usability Software, a Logitech Web camera, and two
Dell OptiPlex 960 computers, each outfitted with two Dell monitors. Notes were taken
documenting positive and negative responses to the InnoVenture.com interface, quotes,
and general reactions to the interface.
The task analysis featured 10 tasks, ranging from very simple to complex. The
tasks, which covered a variety of salient features, as described by Warner, were:
1. Navigate to the URL “ http://www.innoventure.com.”
2. From the innoventure.com homepage, navigate to the “About Us” section and
identify the company’s founder.
3. Locate the contact information for innoventure.com
4. Locate how you would join the InnoVenture community.
5. Navigate to “Networks” and locate the “Clemson Innovation” network. Within this
network, locate Adam Hoover’s “Big Idea” and view his presentation.
6. Locate and identify the number of projects that “Clemson Innovation” is currently
7. Navigate to the screen where you would learn to promote your “Big Idea.”
Determine how many ways in which you may promote your “Big Idea.”
8. Return to homepage. Navigate to the screen where you would most likely upload
any contacts you may want to promote your “Big Idea” to.
9. Locate the search bar and perform a search for “Drew Felty”. Once you have
located Mr. Felty, describe his “Big Idea.”
10. Log out of “http://www.innoventure.com.”
Numerical assignments were given to the ability to complete tasks, with one (1) being
“Failure to Complete task”, two (2) “Completed Task with Difficulty, three (3)
“Completed Task with Some Difficulty, and four (4) being “Completed Task With Ease”.
The data collected from these tasks were scored and averaged (Figure 1.). The range of
the scores was1.8 to 2.8, and the mean score among the 10 participants to complete tasks
was 2.41. Based on these scores, the participants experienced difficulty in performing
most of the tasks in the interface’s current iteration.
After the completion of the task analysis, a System Usability Scale (SUS) survey
was given to the participants. The SUS survey, developed by John Brooke at Digital
Equipment Corporation in the United Kingdom in 1986, provided a means of assessing
usability within a system. Because the SUS can operate independently of technology, it
can be implemented in a variety of usability scenarios (Brooke, 1996). This survey, a
Likert-type survey, has been proven as an effective means of measuring usability
(Brooke, 1996; Bangor, et al., 2008; Bangor, et al., 2009). Because of its ease of use,
intuitive scoring, technological agnosticism, and low-cost, it is widely used in usability
and user satisfaction scenarios (Brooke, 1996; Bangor, et al., 2009).
Moreover, the SUS scores can provide a means of determining a system’s
usability in a method that is easily understood by many: the higher the score, the more
usable the system.
The SUS score was determined by calculating each item's score contribution
range, from 0 to 4. For items 1,3,5,7,and 9 the score contribution was the scale position
minus 1. For items 2,4,6,8 and 10, the contribution was 5 minus the scale position.
Multiplying the score’s sums by 2.5 yielded the system usability score (Brooke, 1996).
The scores were then averaged to determine the mean of 28.0.
While SUS scores are not exact percentages, it is generally accepted that scores in
the 68 and above range indicate a system is usable, and scores below 50 generally
indicate poor usability (Yeo, 2001). With a range of 0.00 to 60.0, and a mean score of
28.0 among the 10 participants, the Innoventure.com interface could be described as very
poor. (Figure 2.).
The informal interview focused on the individual user’s responses to both positive
and negative aspects of the Innoventure.com web interface that they experienced during
the task analysis and think-aloud protocol portion of the test. The participants were asked
to further elaborate upon particular aspects of the interface they found exceptionally
positive or negative. The researcher asked participants to discuss positive aspects of the
InnoVenture.com interface as a strategy to convey the information to Warner. Because of
the aforementioned practice of focusing on the positives, the researcher surmised that the
data collected would be seen by Warner if some praise were lavished upon
Innoventure.com. Educators in persuading others to listen to the negative have used this
strategy of naming positive attributes effectively. Furthermore, naming positive attributes
about the interface can be an effective alleviator to the potentially demoralizing effects of
the negative attributes of the interface. Because this may be the first direct feedback
Warner has experienced with the InnoVenture interface, including positive findings could
prove to be beneficial (Dumas and Redish, 1999).
Despite the high task error averages and low SUS scores, the participants felt
there were still several positive attributes within the InnoVenture social media interface.
100% of the participants thought that a social media platform focused on connecting
individuals focused on innovation and entrepreneurship with those with valuable
resources or connections was a great idea. Sixty percent felt the interface was credible,
owing to the clean design and the color palette. Additionally, 60% stated they would
recommend the site to others. Ten percent described the interface as “looking the way a
social media site should.” While these attributes were certainly positive, they paled in
comparison to the high number of negative aspects associated with the interface.
Unfortunately, the participants felt the negative aspects of the InnoVenture.com
web interface overwhelmingly outweighed the positives. All of the participants stated that
there was simply too much text, with over half stating they would not read all of it.
Eighty percent described the interface as frustrating, particularly concerning the
inoperability of the search bars, uploading, and navigation features of the site. Ninety
percent all of the participants expressed concern over the scarcity of information
concerning how to use the site, the difficulty in navigating to the Frequently Asked
Questions (FAQ) areas, the size of the font, and the lack of intuitiveness of the overall
site. One particularly colorful participant described the interface as a “Podunk ass
website” and further stated that they would not recommend this site to anyone under any
circumstance. Of the 50% of the participants who elected to join the Innoventure.com,
80% of those voiced concern over having to verify their membership via a two-step
process involving email, as well as whether or not InnoVenture would send unsolicited
bulk advertisement via email (spam), and how frequently.
The introductory video on the home page was viewed by 30% of the participants,
who described it as “cheesy,” “unprofessional,” and “stupid.” One participant identified
the background music as the instrument track to popular song “Gangnam Style,” and
wondered aloud if InnoVenture had secured the rights to use the music.
Suggestions for Improvement
The participants were also questioned during the informal interview as to what
they would feel would make InnoVenture.com a more suitable social media web
interface. All of the participants thought that less text and more imagery would greatly
enhance the interface, as well as prominently displaying FAQs, working functionalities,
more explicit instructions on how to get started, and a more intuitive interface. Sixty
percent of the participants suggested uniformity of the menu buttons, 40% suggested
stating the benefit of being a part of the InnoVenture social network, and 30% suggested
a messenger or chat feature, in addition to having the option to group Presenters and
Followers based on the interests of the users themselves. One participant suggested a
more customizable home page, where a particular user’s settings would make the
interface more intuitive based on personal preference.
Despite the numerous negative associations by the participants, 80% were hopeful
that the problems associated with the interface could be easily resolved. For example,
one participant suggested outright that making changes to the size and amount of text
would present a more aesthetically pleasing layout that would make it more legible.
The usability report- which outlined demographic information of the participants,
the research methodology used, the equipment used for the test, the findings, and
recommendations for improvement- was sent to Warner for his review. However, the
differences in conceptual models between Warner and the usability researcher could be
The A Priori Versus the Emergent
Considering Warner’s conceptual model of usability, his desire to rapidly grow a
network and to merge it with a larger established network, and reluctance to consider the
usability researcher’s conceptual model as valid could be described as falling within a
normative and a priori conceptual framework, would most likely fall into the
communication metaphor known as the conduit (Putnam, et al., 1999). From a normative,
a priori viewpoint, the channel from which the message originates, in this case Warner,
was meant to be communicated with a minimal of spillage (Putnam, et al., 1999), i.e.,
executed to its fullest extent under his orders with minimal to no dialogue during this
process. This message has been transmitted to Manley, who had helped develop
InnoVenture.com’s web presence to Warner’s specifications, with little to no apparent
feedback. This metaphor allows for the transmission of communication
Another metaphor that falls within the conduit hegemony is the tool. The tool, in
this case, the InnoVenture social media interface, seeks to provide a means to an end
(Putnam, et al., 1999). Manley, and his skill sets as a Web developer, have also acted as a
valuable tool in translating Warner’s communicated idea into reality. Ideally, the
usability testing that has been performed for this interface should have acted as a tool in
order to fulfill Warner’s mission of creating a viable social media platform. However, the
nature of usability testing, which considers the role of the user, is diametrically opposed
to the metaphor of the conduit.
From a discursive perspective, it appears that Warner, and as a result,
InnoVenture, is normative and a priori. Warner’s own admission of wanting
“InnoVenture to become the innovation engine for the region” embodies the
overcharacterizations and rigid standards emblematic of a normative organizational
structure (Deetz, 2001). By becoming the “innovation engine of the region, Warner
reifies the concept of InnoVenture as an object of prediction and control (Deetz, 2001).
This control, which Warner wants to extend to the Clemson University Alumni
Association, addresses the discursive features of a normative organization in several
ways. Within the “Problems We Solve” subheading in the FAQ, InnoVenture addresses
several key components associated with normative discursive feature (Deetz, 2001):
People with big ideas seeking resources, and enterprises with resources seeking big ideas, have a
common problem. Those with ideas find it difficult to attract resources, and enterprises find it
difficult to provide resources, because early on big ideas are not fully formed and are personal to
the people who have them.
Those with ideas are most likely to attract resources, and enterprises are most likely to provide
resources, when someone they both know and trust introduces them to one another.
As a big idea is validated in the marketplace, the individual with the idea grows the confidence of
those interested in helping by keeping them updated on progress.
InnoVenture.com is a platform for people to present big ideas and ask for introductions to those
with resources, who can follow the idea to receive progress updates, introduce the idea to
someone else who can help, and connect privately with the person who has the idea to explore
how to work together.
The explicit use of the term “marketplace” is highly suggestive of a normative
discourse, as the marketplace is a prominent metaphor for organization from a normative
discursive practice (Deetz, 2001). By suggesting that Warner is someone that they (the
Presenter and Follower) can be introduced to each other by someone they know and trust,
Warner, through InnoVenture, seeks to control, bring order to disorder, facilitate
information needs, provide an economic social relation, and attempts to enforce
efficiency through a defined channel (Deetz, 2001). Moreover, the perceived forced
creation of affinity groups reinforces the normative culture reified by Warner.
Consensus, through dominant social relations, knowledge, and the attempt to
maintain a hierarchy was apparent with Warner. In email correspondence, phone
conversations, and meetings with the usability researcher, Warner insisted that his
conceptual model was the preferred framework in which to conduct usability testing.
Despite the usability researcher supplying myriad examples of both academic and
popular literature supporting his conceptual model, Warner insisted it did not apply to
InnoVenture’s needs. Whenever the subject was mentioned, Warner maintained the Two
Screen Scenario and his 30-plus years in business outweighed any findings from the
usability researcher. The emergent practices suggested by the usability researcher, using
metaphors unfamiliar to the client, presented a discourse foreign to the client. These
differences in metaphors and conceptual models led to a breakdown in communication
that ultimately led to the dissolution of the researcher-client relationship.
When considering the user’s experience in designing for the web, a metaphor that
describes that overall experience is that of linkage (Putnam, et al., 1999). This linkage,
which seeks to produce organizations that produce communication, is crucial to the
acquisition of information, which is one of the functions of the InnoVenture.com
interface (Putnam, et al., 1999). Moreover, the metaphor of linkage relies upon strong
network ties and overlapping of convergent networks, which may or may not have
permeable boundaries, which is consistent with many social networks (Putnam, et al.,
1999). Because InnoVenture’s partial mission is to link ideas with individuals or groups
with beneficial connections or resources, this metaphor to describe the networks involved
Through a shared practical knowledge and discovery of concepts, the users of
InnoVenture.com appear to represent a dialogic and emergent discourse practice (Deetz,
1999). Through the expansion of available discourses afforded by a virtual society
created through social media, new identities can be assumed (Presenter, Follower, or
both), thus fragmenting this “society” (Deetz, 1995, 2001; Gergen, 1991). The use of the
social media platform seeks to establish a space for voices that may be otherwise lost
within a normative organization, which is indicative of a dialogic discursive practice.
Furthermore, the connections among people that are afforded by social media networks
extend social influence and coordinate actions (Putnam, et al., 1999). The potential for
strong network ties formed through these fragmented societies is also consistent with the
The members of Innoventure.com themselves, as a collective, challenge the
notion of a normative organization, by virtue of their differing roles within Charlene Li
and Josh Bernoff’s Social Technographic Ladder and Amy Jo Kim’s Membership Life
Cycle Model (Howard, 2010). Within the structure of the Social Technographic Ladder,
six different member type shave been established: Creators, Critics, Collectors, Joiners,
Spectators, and Inactives. Another five have been established in Kim’s model: Visitors,
Novices, Regulars, Leaders, and Elders (Howard, 2010). Each of these member types
have characteristics, such as the Joiners, who have influence simply by joining, indicates
usability testing across a diverse population could be beneficial. Moreover, understanding
that different types of users exist, such as the Visitor in Kim’s model, suggests an
interface such as Innoventure.com cannot and will not become a daily habit for all users
(Howard, 2010). An interface that is cognizant of different types of users will ultimately
be successful versus one that strives for a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Because different
users will have different reasons for using the interface, a rigid network created by a
Presenter-Follower relationship within a predetermined network will not benefit
everyone. Certain users may be seeking advice, while certain users may be interested in
developing manufacturing processes to create a product more efficiently. The current
method of Presenter-Follower may not foster the types of discourse appropriate to those
types of users.
Usability, as a professional practice, is the convergence of several career fields:
human factors, cognitive psychology, sociology, technical communication, and visual
design, among others. This abundance of available and varied discourses also lends itself
to what Deetz refers to as fragmented society, and portrays the usability professional as
someone who may represent multiple identities by performing his or her practice.
The portrayal of many seemingly divergent roles, coupled with the privilege
granted to the user, seeks to unmask the elitism established by an a priori, normative
organizational culture (Deetz, 2001). This unmasking, which favors creativity, diversity,
and deconstruction, presents a unique challenge to the normative organizational culture,
whose social fear is disorder (Deetz, 2001).
The polarity in discourses between Warner, the users of InnoVenture, and the
usability researcher present great difficulties when explaining the importance of the user
experience. Warner and Manley, whose aforementioned statements regarding the role of
the usability researcher were expressed by discordance over the difference between the
two competing conceptual models. Warner felt that a task analysis was counterproductive
to his Two Screens Scenario, and Manley’s opposition to usability testing based on his
developer-centric model in regards to Web design. (Warner and Manley, phone
interview, January 27, 2014). The aforementioned benefits of user testing were
dismissed, with Warner stating that none of those things would be helpful in attracting
users or promoting the site to the Clemson University Alumni Association.
Being aware of the diversity of users and their experiences with an interface, as
well as the divergent ways in which people use the Web can only enhance the user’s
experience. Gathering insights from potential or actual users concerning the interface is
one such method of becoming aware. As Krug has pointed out, gaining insights from
even one user is a 100% increase over none at all.
Because InnoVenture is the product of an individual who has been immersed for
three decades with a normative culture, some level of reluctance regarding the user
experience is to be expected. In order to help the case of the user, the usability researcher,
and ultimately InnoVenture, careful consideration was given to convince Warner of the
beneficial role usability and the user play in a social media interface.
To convey the needs of the user and the usability researcher, a method of
transcending the communication barrier was necessary. The usability researcher decided
to present the need for usability testing and the findings in language that Warner might be
receptive to. Phrases, such as the external Return on Investment (ROI), communicated
insights gathered from the usability tests in a way that made sense to Warner. The
benefits of usability testing- making Innoventure.com easier for users to use, creating a
more helpful interface for users trying to achieve their goals of connecting to individuals
with resources and connections, a generating a more satisfying user experience overall
(Wilson, 2005)- framed as ROIs were one such way in which the usability researcher and
Warner were able to reach an agreement. By using language Warner was accustomed to,
it was possible to convince him to consider disparate viewpoints. (Fisher, et al., 2011).
This appeal to Warner’s values from an organizational perspective is typical of an “outer
voice” form of socialization (Cheney, 1983). This outer voice form of communication by
the usability researcher in regards to Warner’s understanding of the importance of
usability is also consistent with the fragmented identity associated with a dialogic
Upon receiving the usability report, Warner thanked the usability researcher for
his efforts in making Innoventure.com a more usable Web interface. This politeness was
short lived, however.
Upon learning that the usability researcher had written an academic paper
outlining his experiences of working with a client who was unfamiliar with usability
practices, Warner demanded to read the paper immediately. Because no such agreement
had been discussed regarding Warner’s role in dissemination of information concerning
the usability study, the request was denied. Warner, in an email, questioned the usability
researcher’s credibility, saying
“This process has not gone well. For someone who is getting trained to listen, you are in an
academic bubble and have haven't listened. Your user interface research was not focused on the
most important interface for how most people are introduced to the site. Your report highlights
obvious issues that are secondary to how the site is primarily used. It didn't take four months to
know there is too much text on the about page, and it is not necessary or helpful for you to
How this project was structured reflects a lack of understanding about how most users engage
with social networks, whether LinkedIn or Facebook or InnoVenture. Most users today start on a
phone or some other mobile device which is the first screen and the second screen is an interior
page of the site, but you said that wasn't relevant to you. You can't provide relevant input on a
user interface if you don't understand user behavior.
I'm concerned that whatever you publish will do more harm than good. If I had this to do over again I
In response, the usability researcher expressed to Warner that the usability issues
and recommendations were, in fact, very important to the users of the site. In short, if a
user cannot use the interface being accessed, the user simply will not use the interface.
Moreover, Warner provided nothing other than anecdotes that suggested users of
Innoventure.com used the interface on a mobile device exclusively. As we have learned,
users access the Web in divergent ways. Lastly, if Warner knew what the usability issues
of Innoventure.com were, why did he seek the recommendations of a usability
researcher? Further, if Warner knew of these issues, why were no measures to correct
these issues implemented?
Having met the agreed upon requirements for the usability testing, and realizing
that any mutual understanding for improving the usability of the InnoVenture.com
interface unlikely, the usability researcher dissolved the client-researcher relationship.
When conducting usability testing, being cognizant of the client’s conceptual
model regarding usability is paramount. Differences in goals, knowledge of what
“usability” entails, and organizational discourses are some of the factors that will inform
a client’s conceptual model of usability. While this model will most likely be in conflict
with the usability researcher’s conceptual model, careful consideration to the differences
can be an effective means of reducing friction between the disparate parties.
Because of the dialogic nature of usability testing, the researcher is called upon to
perform several roles within the fragmented society. An extension of performing these
divergent roles is adopting the discourse of the client-in this case the discourse of a
normative, a priori organizational culture- in order to effectively communicate the
importance of testing as well as advocate for the user. Through the reification of a
normative discourse, the usability researcher can project an outer voice that is consistent
with the client’s organizational values. By practicing communication in a normative role,
the usability researcher is also reifying the fragmented identity (or identities) associated
with a dialogic discursive practice.
To someone whose organizational discourse resides within a normative
theoretical framework, the practices and discourse associated with user experience may
present a traumatic experience. In an effort to minimize this trauma, a clearer definition
of user experience and the user-centric practices associated with it must be developed.
Through reification of a normative discourse, the usability researcher is engaging in the
dialogic discursive practices associated with user-centered desig
Bangor, A., Kortum, P. T., & Miller, J. T. (2008). An empirical evaluation of the system
usability scale. Intl. Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, 24(6), 574-594.
Bangor, A., Kortum, P., & Miller, J. (2009). Determining what individual SUS scores
mean: Adding an adjective rating scale. Journal of usability studies, 4(3), 114-123
Barban, A. M. (1994). Advertising: Its role in modern marketing (p. 38). Fort Worth,
Texas: Dryden Press.
Bias, R. G., & Mayhew, D. J. (Eds.). (2005). Cost-justifying usability: an update for an
Internet age. Morgan Kaufmann.
Block, P. (2011). Flawless consulting: A guide to getting your expertise used. John Wiley
Brooke, J. SUS-A quick and dirty usability scale (1996). PW Jordan, B. Thomas, BA
Weerdmeester and AL McClelland.
Buxton, B. (2010). Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right
Design: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design. Morgan Kaufmann.
Cheney, G. (1983). The rhetoric of identification and the study of organizational
communication. Quarterly journal of speech, 69(2), 143-158.
Deetz, S. (2001). Conceptual foundations. The new handbook of organizational
communication: Advances in theory, research, and methods, 3-46.
Dumas, J. S., & Guide, J. C. R. A. P. (1999). Usability Testing. London, UK: Intellect
Fisher, R., Ury, W. L., & Patton, B. (2011). Getting to yes: Negotiating agreement
without giving in. Penguin.
Garrett, J. J. (2011). The elements of user experience: User-centered design for the web
and beyond. (2nd ed., pp. 49-51). Berkeley, CA: New Riders.
Getto, G., Potts, L., Salvo, M. J., & Gossett, K. (2013, September). Teaching UX:
designing programs to train the next generation of UX experts. InProceedings of the 31st
ACM international conference on Design of communication (pp. 65-70). ACM.
Gergen, K. (1991). The saturated self: Dilemmas of identity in contemporary life. Basic
Hassenzahl, M., & Tractinsky, N. (2006). User experience-a research agenda. Behaviour
& Information Technology, 25(2), 91-97.
Howard, T. (2009). Design to thrive: Creating social networks and online communities
that last. Morgan Kaufmann.
Jablin, F. M., & Putnam, L. L. (Eds.). (2001). The new handbook of organizational
communication: Advances in theory, research, and methods. Sage.
Jacko, J. A., Sears, A., & Borella, M. S. (2000). The effect of network delay and media
on user perceptions of web resources. Behaviour & Information Technology, 19(6), 427-
Johnson, J. (2010). Designing with the mind in mind: Simple guide to understanding user
interface design rules. Morgan Kaufmann.
Kennedy, G. A. (Ed.). (1991). On rhetoric: A theory of civic discourse. Oxford
Krug, S. Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability,
(Berkeley, CA: New Riders, 2006)
Laurel, B. (1991). Computer as Theatre: A dramatic theory of interactive experience, 13.
Lazar, J. (2002, January). The world wide web. In The human-computer interaction
handbook (pp. 714-730). L. Erlbaum Associates Inc.
Nielsen, J. (2004). Designing web usability. Pearson Deutschland GmbH.
Norman, D. A. (2007). Emotional design: Why we love (or hate) everyday things. Basic
Ramsay, J., Barbesi, A., & Preece, J. (1998). A psychological investigation of long
retrieval times on the World Wide Web. Interacting with Computers, 10, 77-86.
Rigby, Darrell K and Christiansen, Clayton M. and Johnson, Mark, Foundations for
Growth: How to Identify and Build Disruptive New Businesses (2002). MIT Sloan
Management Review, Vol. 43, Issue 3, p. 22-32 2002.
Sears, A., & Jacko, J. A. (Eds.). (2007). The human-computer interaction handbook:
fundamentals, evolving technologies and emerging applications. CRC Press.
Shirky, C. (2008). Here comes everybody: The power of organizing without
van den Haak, M., De Jong, M., & Jan Schellens, P. (2003). Retrospective vs. concurrent
think-aloud protocols: testing the usability of an online library catalogue. Behaviour &
Information Technology, 22(5), 339-351
Weinschenk, S. M. (2009). Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click?. New Riders
Yeo, A. W. (2001, March). Global-software development lifecycle: an exploratory study.
In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp.