Articles by Erica L. Olmsted-Hawala

Photo of the authorOlmsted-Hawala holds a MA in technical communication. She is a User Experience Researcher at the U.S. Census Bureau. Her research interests include think-aloud protocols in usability testing, interface displays for data dissemination Web sites, and the usability of handheld devices to collect survey data. She publishes in government research publications and international conference proceedings.

Usability of Access Codes

Abstract Access codes are a series of numbers, letters, or characters provided to a user when there is a level of identification required to gain entry to an online service, such as the claim code for an online gift certificate. The challenge with access codes is that they need to be unique enough that someone […] [Read More]

Labeling and Placement of the Logout Button in Mobile Surveys

Abstract As more people use smartphones to complete web surveys, survey designers are beginning to optimize online questionnaires for limited screen displays, determining which design practices and features can carry over to mobile devices. One such feature is a logout button—an action button that allows users to leave the survey, usually saving their information by […] [Read More]

Conducting Iterative Usability Testing on a Web Site: Challenges and Benefits

Abstract This paper demonstrates the benefits and challenges of working collaboratively with designers and developers while conducting iterative usability testing during the course of Web site design. Four rounds of usability testing were conducted using materials of increasing realism to represent the user interface of a public government site: 1) low-fidelity paper prototypes; 2) medium-fidelity, […] [Read More]