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Welcome to the World Organization Of Webmasters Industry Research Center. The following abstracts are an example of the information and resources that WOW will provide to you as an Education Alliance member.

To learn more about WOW membership click here.

Links to Bureau of Labor Statistics information on Web site design

Usability Testing Web Sites at the Bureau of Labor Statistics - Levi, Michael D. (1997) Transcript of a talk at Usability Engineering 2: Measurement and Methods, a NIST Symposium.

Using E-Mail/World Wide Web For Establishment Survey Data Collection - Clayton, Richard L., and Werking, George S. (1995)
Electronic mail (E-mail) is increasingly available within businesses and may be exploited for survey data collection where connection to the Internet/World Wide Web exists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has conducted a preliminary assessment of the ability and willingness CES respondents to use E-mail and developed a prototype collection instrument as the first steps in launching a feasibility test of E-mail collection in the monthly Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey. Under the envisioned E-mail collection, respondents receive electronic mail, enter their data which immediately resides on the survey agency's computer. This paper provides results from this customer attitudes review, including their willingness to use E-mail. It also reviews current Internet/WWW features relevant to data collection. Also, we profile the strengths and weaknesses of the E-mail/Internet against other automated collection methods in terms of quality, timeliness and costs, and discuss issues relating to its future use for surveys including confidentiality.

A Heuristic Evaluation of a World Wide Web Prototype - Levi, Michael D., and Conrad, Frederick G. (1996), Interactions Magazine, July/August, Vol.III.4, pp. 50-61.
Heuristic evaluation is a "discount" approach to identifying interface problems which can be administered for little or no cost, without special training, in a relatively short period of time In the Fall of 1994, the Bureau of Labor Statistics had just completed a prototype for a public access system to be distributed over the World Wide Web. Since our resources (human, material, and financial) were quite limited, we carried out a heuristic evaluation of the prototype to identify problem areas that could be avoided in the final product, but also to evaluate the inspection method itself and determine whether it might prove fruitful in other development efforts. This talk will report our findings. We will concentrate on our experience with the method, and our judgment of its strengths and weaknesses.

A Shaker Approach to Web Site Design - Levi, Michael D. (1997)
In this paper the author draws on the Shaker ideals of simplicity, elegance, and quality to present a philosophy of Web site design based on the principles of Human-Computer Interaction and his view of Web site creation as a software development process. The paper discusses a taxonomy of Web sites and Web users, addresses the importance of a user-centered design perspective, and presents a set of usability principles tailored to Web systems.

Usability Testing of World Wide Web Sites - Levi, Michael D., and Conrad, Frederick G. (1996)
Usability testing is the process by which the human-computer interaction characteristics of a system are measured, and weaknesses are identified for correction. This article gives an overview of the usability testing process and describes a set of testing techniques the authors have used to evaluate the Bureau of Labor Statistics public access Web site and a joint BLS-Bureau of the Census Web site for the Current Population Survey. This work has been conducted largely for release over the Internet, but the techniques described are equally relevant to intranet testing.

Evaluating Web Site Structure: A Set of Techniques - Frederickson-Mele, K., Levi, Michael D., and Conrad, Frederick G. (1997)
This paper presents a case study of a usability evaluation conducted on an intranet prototype. Three related usability tests were conducted to focus specifically on the site's organization: a Card Sort exercise, an Icon Mix-and-Match exercise, and a Category Membership Expectations test. The paper discusses:

  • How the authors designed, conducted, and evaluated the tests.
  • What actions were subsequently taken by the development team.
  • The authors' reflections on using these methods, and what they will do differently next time.