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Authentic Behavior in User Testing (14 Feb 2005)
It's a miracle that user testing works: You bring people into a room where they're surrounded by strangers, monitored by cameras, and asked to perform difficult tasks with miserable websites. Often, there's even an intimidating one-way mirror dominating one wall. Under these conditions, how can anybody accomplish anything?

In fact, all experience shows that people can and do use websites and other user interfaces during test sessions, and that many valuable usability findings emerge from such studies. Why?

Two main reasons: the power of engagement and the suspension of disbelief.
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