Sign up for a usability study


If you’d like to get the chance to participate in an API usability study and give
us your feedback about Avalon, Indigo, WinFS or other APIs, sign up as a usability
participant at http://www.microsoft.com/usability/.

We’re running studies fairly regularly (for example, next week we are running studies
on the Avalon Sidebar API and on the new C++ on .Net syntax). For each study, participants
normally come into the labs on the Microsoft campus for anywhere between 2 and 4 hours
and work on a number of tasks using a specific API. We get great feedback from people
while watching them work. As a token of our appreciation, participants get to choose
one or two pieces of software (depending on how long their session is) from a list of
software that includes Visual Studio .Net if you come in for a developer study.

We tend to do most of our studies here on the main campus in Redmond, WA, but I’d
encourage people to sign up even if you don’t live anywhere near here. We always try
to set up usability studies wherever and whenever a major conference takes place.
For example, there were a number of usability studies that took place in LA during
the PDC. So, if you’re interested, please sign
up
 and help us improve the quality of our products.

Comments (9)

  1. Kevin Westhead says:

    Is this limited to US residents only?

  2. Steven Clarke says:

    Unfortunately I think it is Kevin, due to tax laws.

  3. Stephane Rodriguez says:

    Looks like a normal paid job to me. Do you mean those who sign up wouldn’t get paid?

    This weblog frenzy is rapidly turning to a joke.

  4. BobSmith says:

    What do weblogs have to do with anything?

  5. Steven Clarke says:

    Not quite sure what the "weblog frenzy" reference means but regarding signing up as a usability participant, it’s definitely not considered as employment. The US tax laws just place certain restrictions on the value of software that we can give to participants within a tax year. Once we give enough software that is valued above a certain threshold, the recipient needs to declare the gift and pay taxes on the value of that software.

    There is no commitment on your part to participate when you sign up. If you do sign up, your name will be on our list and we may contact you at some point in the future to ask if you would like to participate in a particular study. It’s up to you whether or not you participate.

  6. Argun Tekant says:

    Steven,
    I would be very interested in the Sidebar API usability study. I have been working on some sidebar apps, and would love to have some input to the API. I don’t live in the Seattle area, but have regular business there and I am frequently in the area. I can be there with a few of days’ notice, if the Sidebar API study is about to begin. I did sign up through the site, but due to my address (NY), you won’t be picking me up by default. Let me know if you still need people for this. Thanks.

  7. Steven Clarke says:

    Thanks Argun, but unfortunately, participants for the study have already been recruited. However, if you have any input on the Sidebar API I’d be delighted to hear it.

  8. Anonymous says:

    My vote is for C++ APIs without managed, COM, or BSTR cruft but unfortunately my vote doesn’t count. But that’s okay guys, feel free to alienate your existing developers.

  9. Anonymous says:

    My vote is for C++ APIs without managed, COM, or BSTR cruft but unfortunately my vote doesn’t count. But that’s okay guys, feel free to alienate your existing developers.