Research and testing
Macquarie University research underpins all the guidelines offered in relation to style practices, readability and usability in print and online documents. Macquarie University conducts empirical research to validate the principles and practices recommended, and its testing and analytical services are based on this research.
Professional testing services are offered in website and document appraisal.
The research underpinning the appraisal of websites and print documents is both quantitative and qualitative, using cognitive indicators, user protocols, readability measures and structural analyses.
Website appraisal is based on quantifiable measures, including eye-tracking and performance data associated with extracting information from the website. It also makes use of visitors’ comments on their experience of using the website, correlated with their eye movements and use of mouse clicks, for in-depth analysis of the user experience.
Document appraisal makes use of readability measures to assess the inherent difficulty of the text, and its consistency in complex documents. The structure of the text, including use of headings and paragraphing, is taken into account, as is the use of graphics and photos to supplement the verbal text, and the kinds of user needs they address.
Further information on research and testing will be available soon.