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Part: III Appendixes > Process Data versus Bottom-Line Data

Process Data versus Bottom-Line Data

There are two kinds of data that you can get from a usability test: process data and bottom-line data. Process data consists of informal, qualitative observations of what people are thinking and doing—an overall feeling of what works and what does not on a Web site. The key things to look for here are critical incidents, places on your Web site where participants are confused, frustrated, or even swear. Critical incidents also include cases in which people are pleasantly surprised or say something positive about the site.

In contrast, bottom-line data consists of formal, quantitative measurements of what happened, such as the time it takes to complete a task, the number of errors that occur, or the time it takes to learn a task.


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