The Story/Test/Story Method: A Combined Approach to Usability Testing and Contextual Inquiry

Guiseppe Getto
2020 Computers and Composition  
The Story/Test/Story Method is a new method that represents a combined approach to usability testing and contextual inquiry that can be used in the classroom and beyond. Usability testing has been used by both rhetoricians and technical communicators to assess the effectiveness of digital technologies for specific user groups. Contextual inquiry is a method with its roots in ethnography that examines the contexts of users to ensure that technologies support their needs. In classroom
more » ... as well as in UX research projects beyond the classroom, it can be difficult to incorporate both methods, however. At the same time, it is essential for students and researchers to assess both a user's context and their actions while using a technology in order to learn how that technology might be improved. In this article I introduce the Story/Test/Story Method, explain its precedents in composition and technical communication literature, give examples of its use in the classroom, and discuss its limitations when compared to both usability testing and contextual inquiry as standalone methods. Ultimately, I hope that writing researchers, teachers, and consultants can use the Story/Test/Story Method in their own work to assess, critique, and develop digital technologies within their own specific contexts.
doi:10.1016/j.compcom.2020.102548 fatcat:6ijrcsovrfgh5eojpzopeschgq