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Trace exactly what Users are doing
MouseTrace is a new usability tool that will let bloggers and webmasters determine precisely how to enhance the experience of their visitors. At it most basic level, what MouseTrace does is to record the activity of visitors and create a video that the webmaster or blogger can reproduce as many times as he or she wants.

This service is easy to implement: all you have to do is add one line of HTML for MouseTrace to become fully operative and functional. There is no software to install, nothing to set up or configure, and certainly nothing to update later on.

A system like this one is so flexible that it almost feels like sitting right beside the visitor as he is finding his way through the site or blog. You will be able to see every click and scroll, and figure out in which ways you could make things more intuitive for future visitors. And the fact that you can also record the ability of mobile users turn MouseTrace into something even more practical than it already is.

New Study- Gender differences in Web Usability

Source: Demystifying Usability blog, 18 August 2010
Gender as an audience sensitive criteria (differentiation) is barely present in North American technology product design (where it is much easier to do) let alone Web experiences. In Asia there is more design innovation in this area, for example see: Toshiba's Femininity series. Implications of this phenomenon are discussed below. First a summary of the findings:

Comscore report 'Women on the Web' Key Findings:
1. Women have surpassed men as online buyers (and they spend more) and their influence is growing rapidly. Social retail is an emerging area for women, due to their tendency to share and discuss with other others.
2. Women spend more time online (8% globally) than men and 30% more time on social networking sites than men.
3. Women are motivated differently in their use of social networking sites like Twitter. Twitter adoption is equal or higher than men. Twitter is used by women more for conversation, to follow celebrities or to find deals and promotions. Men are more likely to post their own tweets.
4. Social networking is emerging as a driver for women in the mobile sphere.
5. Women are using online entertainment (eg puzzle, board and card games) and functional sites (money management) as much as men (change in past behavior from health, apparel, baby goods).
6. Cultural differences in emerging markets (Asia, Latin America) will always influence online behavior by gender- an important localization issue.
7. Older women more than men, are rapidly adopting social networking sites - and at the same intensity as younger women.
8. Women are still attracted to health content, community and lifestyle sites. However women are outpacing men in some areas of finance and are actively engaging in male-dominated areas such as adult content and gambling.
9. Compared to men, women Bing users spend more time on Bing for search, than Google - and YouTube for video. Facebook, while visited more than men is unable to compete with regional social networking sites (such as CyWorld in South Korea, in Russia, in Japan or StudiVZ in Germany), especially among older women.
10. Women spend more time on Social Networking, Instant Messaging (IM) and Email than men globally.
11. The embrace of social networking and its importance to women has significant implications for content and user experience.
12. Women spend more time on photo sites and adopt photo sharing faster. Email usage is higher in the 45+ age group. Latin American women do more IM'ing than other women globally, with their use of email topping North American females.

Significance of the Data
The findings from the Comscore global study provide a fresh starting point to understand the opportunities for designing user experiences, both Web and product, that resonate with women. Women's presence on the Web is changing, and as Comscore found, restricted access to technology (computers and Internet) is a major hindrance to more women getting online. As more of the world's women get online, the opportunity to design for women will be the default (not the exception, as it has been viewed in the past).

A 2002 study by Van Slyke et al. entitled 'Gender Differences in perceptions of Web-based shopping' found that women were visiting shopping sites more than men, but that men were buying more than women. They also recommended: "Web merchants may find it useful to use technology to increase a sense of community and create a social forum for their customers". Given the Comscore findings above, women's usage of the Web has clearly changed! But has web design and user experience strategy kept up?
Many organizations still believe usability testing is a luxury that requires an expensively equipped lab and takes weeks to conduct.

In fact, usability tests can be both fast and relatively cheap. You don’t need expensive prototypes; low-tech paper prototype tests can also bring valuable results. You don’t need a lot of participants either, even 5 users can be enough to test for specific tasks, and the recruiting can also be done guerilla-style. For many projects, you can even use remote and unmoderated tests.
Chinese or Latino Usability
Those people working with Chinese, Chinese-American, and/or Latino web users may take interest in a couple of recent studies that connect Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions to multi-ethnic web usability among these groups:
Usability for Latinos - -
Cultural Dimensions of Chinese and Chinese-American Websites - -
The studies are presented in English, Chinese, and Spanish and are entirely free. Feedback is of course appreciated.
Source - Filipp Sapienza
In enterprises worldwide, workforce management continues to be based on the technology of more than a decade ago. Yet, today's technology has evolved considerably compared to that of ten years ago. Where previously basic functionality, primitive graphical user interfaces and design as an afterthought were considered acceptable, today's enterprises understand the value of limitless speed, comfortable and intuitive application design that allows managers to spend less time on processes, focus immediately on key factors that drive company performance, and ultimately make better decisions.

It has become an accepted rule of the modern age that technology advances at an increasing pace. Technological challenges that seemed insurmountable a decade ago are infallibly overcome by human inventiveness. As technology develops, user expectations rise in step. The immediate implication is that technology used today needs to be faster, smarter and more powerful than that created a decade ago. To rise to the top in an increasingly competitive market, solutions must be intuitive, friendly and effective; in short, they must be usable.
Modelling User Experience - An agenda for research and practice
UN, 12 August 2010
Modelling user experience - An agenda for research and practice
Edited by Effie Lai-Chong Law and Paul van Schaik

The Special Issue is introduced with an overview article by the two editors presenting an agenda for Research and Practice. The remaining five papers address different concerns pertaining to UX, including measuring usability as a component of UX, impacts of sonic interactions on gameplay experience, experience narratives for measuring the dynamics of user experience, relationships between psychological needs and positive experience, and analysis of user-engagement in online shopping.

Although 'user experience' (UX) has become a fashionable term in human-computer interaction over the past 15 years, practical applications of this (multidimensional) concept still need to be further developed.Measurement models are essential to allow the UX concept to be measured accurately and to aid in activities such as the evaluation of interactive computer systems. Structural models of UX are needed to establish the structural relations both between components and the characteristics of users and computer systems in order to better inform the design of interactive computer systems. Some of the questions addressed in theSpecial Issue include the following. What is the relationship between usability and UX? To what extent and how can attributes of UX be measured? What is the role of and relationship between subjective and objective measures? What are the levels of analysis involved in studying UX? What is the role of time in UX modelling? What is the psychological basis of UX, in terms of motivation and fulfilling psychological needs? What are the practical implications of UX modelling?

Special Issue Papers

Modelling user experience – An agenda for research and practice
Effie L.-C. Law, Paul van Schaik

The Usability Metric for User Experience
Kraig Finstad

Measuring the dynamics of remembered experience over time
Evangelos Karapanos, John Zimmerman, Jodi Forlizzi, Jean-Bernard Martens

More than a feeling: Measurement of sonic user experience and psychophysiology in a first-person shooter game
Lennart E. Nacke, Mark N. Grimshaw, Craig A. Lindley

The influence of hedonic and utilitarian motivations on user engagement: The case of online shopping experiences
Heather Lynn O’Brien

Needs, affect, and interactive products – Facets of user experience
Marc Hassenzahl, Sarah Diefenbach, Anja Göritz