MB2002 logo I presented at Measuring Behaviours 2002 a work regarding remote web testing using OpenWebSurvey, prepared with Vitaveska Lanfranchi. OpenWebSurvey is a software for remote testing that we are developping and using at Turin University.

In the following lines you can read the abstract describing the project. Slides used for the presentation are avaible in pdf format.


Remote web usability testing


Lanfranchi, V , University of Turin, Turin, Italy


Baravalle, A


Behavorial recording


Web usability, Remote Surveys, Tracking User Behaviours, XML


Remote usability testing allows researchers to evaluate the usability of web sites gathering information from remote users [1].
The aim of our work is to develop a software, called OpenWebSurvey, able to record, store, share and process data for web usability analysis.

Problems in usability testing

Although it is common to run usability tests in research laboratories there are some situations in which this is not possible because it is difficult to find a sufficient and significant number of test users willing or able to participate.
In these situations it would be important to record users behaviours remotely, without the need of installing software or hardware elements, neither in the client computer nor in the web site server.
Instead of simply supplying a survey to collect information about the perceived usability of a site it would also be useful to have quantitative data about the user behaviour while surfing the site.

Testing model

OpenWebSurvey will allow storing data about visited pages (load time, mouse movement and clicks, keyboard strokes, scrollbar movements, arrival time), about the entire session (visited pages, ip address, total visit time, page visit time, general information about the user agent) and about survey answers.
Quantitative data about users behaviours are useful to infer psychological motivations that could have induced certain acts.
Moreover these data, combined with information about user's hardware and software platform, allow researchers to make inferences about site usability.
The testing interface is a double framed browser window: in the upper frame there are the survey questions and the input fields to answer, while the lower frame contains the site under investigation, modified in order to record surfing data.
Collected data are stored in XML format [2] and functions will be provided to easily export them into different XML dialects or into web publishing formats.


[1] Watt, J., "Using the Internet for Quantitative Survey Research", Quirk's Marketing Research Review, June/July, 1997
[2] Ed Ross, Jonathan Orgel - Kalonymous , Andrew Greenwald
, "The AskML Project - An Effort To Develop A Standard XML Survey Representation", 2000

Testing interface
Testing interface