User Studies Methods
Feb 01, 2007
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Case Studies
Chameleon
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Case Study: Chameleon
Design proposal introducing
new user interface metaphor
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Case Study: Chameleon
Iterative Design
• Paper prototype -> Visual Basic -> Implement
• Increasingly refined prototypes
• Evaluation of each prototype
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Chameleon Study #1
Understand feasibility of basic idea
• How people used security features
• Explicit vs implicit role switching
Used paper prototype
Recruited 10 people from campus
• Unclear, but presumably typical users w/o
extensive computer experience
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Chameleon Study #1
“We recruited 10 people from around our
campus to use the paper prototype while
we observed them ad listened to their
comments about what they found
confusing, easy, difficult, helpful, etc.”
“Participants also filled out a web-based
questionnaire about their experiences using
the prototype”
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Chameleon Study #1
Fairly typical of an early formative study
• Formative means early stages of design
• Summative means later stages (timing data)
Lots of qualitative feedback
• Useful for early stages
• Should be able to notice major issues w/o
having to do extensive analysis
Little unclear what the tasks were
• Specific tasks to understand usability
• Freeform tasks to understand utility
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Chameleon Study #1
Web survey useful too
• Lots of positive and negative comments
• Always a good idea to do a survey
Helped flesh out major issues
• Switching roles needed to be improved
• User motivation issues
• Names of roles
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Chameleon Study #1
Comments:
• Good to show alternative designs after
such a study
• People not as good evaluating a single design,
better to show alternatives and have them
compare differences
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Chameleon Study #2
Drilling down on the UI
• How people should perform key operations
• Ex. Moving a file from one role to another
Roughly three designs per operation
• Within-subjects design (each person tries all)
• How to address learning effects?
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Chameleon Study #3
Visual Basic prototype
• More refined prototype let them study issues
more in-depth than possible with paper
Injected an “attack”, window that appeared
to be in certain role but was in another
• One issue with security studies is timing, may
want people to become comfortable and then
see if they notice and how they react
• Few participants noticed 
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Chameleon: General Comments
Start simple and with big issues first
• Progressively refine the prototypes
• Don’t drill down to small issues until needed
UI design studies should inject an attack
• See whether people notice
• Can try various UIs to compare effectiveness
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Kazaa File Sharing Study
Good and Krekelberg, CHI 2003
Could people understand what files were
downloadable by others?
• Found lots of people sharing inbox.dbx
• Found that some people were downloading
a fake inbox.dbx file
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Kazaa Cognitive Walkthrough
Cognitive Walkthrough
• Put yourself in shoes of users and try to use
the interface from their perspective
• Somewhat effective approach, depends on
ability of person to see other perspectives
Problem #1: Multiple names for similar things
• My Shared Folder
• My Media
• My Kazaa
- a folder + all shared files
- all shared files by media type
- all shared files by media type
• Folder for downloaded files - root folder of all shared files
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Kazaa Cognitive Walkthrough
Problem 2: Downloaded files
are also shared files
Problem 3: Kazaa recursively
shares folders
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Kazaa Cognitive Walkthrough
Problem 4: Can select a folder,
but what files are inside?
Error-prone approach. Also risk
with recursive folders.
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Kazaa Cognitive Walkthrough
Note: Gives one-time warning
if you select an entire hard drive
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Kazaa Cognitive Walkthrough
 Problem 5: Inconsistent views
• Two UIs for doing similar tasks, but show
different information about state of system
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Cognitive Walkthru Discussion
Fairly effective technique
May be useful to apply multiple times
from multiple perspectives
• Parent who has things to protect
• Teen who wants to download music
May have false positives
• Probably best to do cog walkthru with multiple
people, combine issues, and triage
• Importance (not a problem -> catastrophe)
• Cost
(trivial
-> major rework)
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Kazaa File Sharing Study
12 users, 10 had used file sharing before
Figure out what files being shared by Kazaa
• Download files set to C:\
(ie all files)
Results
• 5 people thought it was “My Shared Folder”
 which one UI did suggest
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Kazaa File Sharing Study
12 users, 10 had used file sharing before
Figure out what files being shared by Kazaa
• Download files set to C:\
(ie all files)
Results
• 5 people thought it was “My Shared Folder”
 which one UI did suggest
• 2 people used Find Files to find all shared files
 This UI had no files checked, thus no files shared?
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Kazaa File Sharing Study
Results
• 5 people thought it was “My Shared Folder”
 which one UI did suggest
• 2 people used Find Files to find all shared files
 This UI had no files checked, thus no files shared?
• 2 people used help, said “My Shared Folder”
• 1 person couldn’t figure it out at all
• Only 2 people got it right
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Kazaa File Sharing Study
12 participants a little low, though results
strong enough to indicate big problems
Could have tried to verify cognitive
walkthrough issues
Could have tried to test people’s ability to
configure system (defaults important!)
Interesting point:
• Had to set up system to prevent any actual
sharing of files
• We’ve had similar issues wrt phishing
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Are people still accidentally sharing files?
A rough & ready experiment by your
friendly instructor (2006)
• eMule (open source)
• Combines eDonkey and Kad file sharing
Different from FastTrack (Kazaa file sharing)
eMule stats
• Downloaded by over 85 million people
• 5.3 mil people / 633 mil files on eDonkey
• 1.7 mil people / 300 mil files on Kad
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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eMule File Sharing UI
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Putting Them Together
Lessons from Chameleon + Kazaa
• Examples of how to run user studies
 Not the most rigorous studies, but good enough to
demonstrate main point
• Examples of mental models
Design Model
User Model
System Image
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Other General Comments
Inform people that it’s a security study?
• Can’t get useful results if informed
Ethics of not informing people
• Involves some element of deception
• Phishing studies framed as email studies
• Golden rule useful here: treat people as you
would like to be treated
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Heuristic Evaluation
Mentioned in “Why Johnny Can’t Encrypt”
• Similar to cognitive walkthrough
Helps find usability problems in a UI design
• Can perform on working UI or on sketches
Small set (3-5) of evaluators examine UI
• independently check for compliance with
usability principles (“heuristics”)
• different evaluators will find different problems
• evaluators combine findings afterwards
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Why Multiple Evaluators?
Every evaluator
doesn’t find every
problem
Good evaluators
find both easy &
hard ones
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Heuristic Evaluation Process
Evaluators go through UI several times
• inspect various dialogs and screens
• compare with heuristics and other usability
principles
“Standard” set of heuristics
• Can also create domain-specific heuristics
 competitive analysis & user testing of existing
products
Use violations to redesign/fix problems
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Heuristic H2-1
searching database for matches
H2-1: Visibility of system status
• keep users informed about what is going on
• example: pay attention to response time
 0.1 sec: no special indicators needed, why?
 1.0 sec: user tends to lose track of data
 10 sec: max. duration if user to stay focused on action
 for longer delays, use percent-done progress bars
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Heuristic H2-2
H2-2: Match between system & real world
• speak the users’ language
• follow real world conventions
Example: Mac desktop
• Dragging disk to trash
should delete it, not eject it
finally fixed in Mac OS X
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Heuristic H2-3
H2-3: User control & freedom
• “exits” for mistaken choices, undo, redo
• don’t force down fixed paths
 like that BART machine…
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Heuristic H2-4
H2-4: Consistency & standards
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Heuristic H2-5
H2-5: Error prevention
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Heuristic H2-6
H2-6: Recognition rather than recall
• make objects, actions, options, & directions
visible or easily retrievable
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Heuristic H2-7
 H2-7: Flexibility and efficiency of use
• accelerators for experts (e.g., gestures, kb shortcuts)
• allow users to tailor frequent actions (e.g., macros)
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Heuristic H2-8
 H2-8: Aesthetic and minimalist design
• no irrelevant information in dialogues
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Heuristic H2-9
H2-9: Help users recognize, diagnose,
and recover from errors
• error messages in plain language
• precisely indicate the problem
• constructively suggest a solution
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Heuristic H2-10
H2-10: Help and documentation
•
•
•
•
easy to search
focused on the user’s task
list concrete steps to carry out
not too large
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Phases of Heuristic Evaluation
1) Pre-evaluation training
• give evaluators needed domain knowledge
and information on the scenario
2) Evaluation
• individuals evaluate problems
• then combine problems as a group
3) Severity
• each person rates severity, then combine
4) Debriefing
• discuss the outcome with design team
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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How to Perform Heuristic Evaluation
At least two passes for each evaluator
• first to get feel for flow and scope of system
• second to focus on specific elements
If system is walk-up-and-use or evaluators
are domain experts, no assistance needed
• otherwise supply evaluators with scenarios
Each evaluator produces list of problems
• explain why with reference to heuristic or other
information
• be specific and list each problem separately
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Examples
Typography uses mix of upper/lower case
formats and fonts
•
•
•
•
violates “Consistency and standards” (H2-4)
slows users down
probably wouldn’t be found by user testing
fix: pick a single format for entire interface
Note: agreeing on heuristic not as
important as the problem itself
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Severity Rating
Used to allocate resources to fix problems
• estimates of need for more usability efforts
Combination of
• frequency (one time or repeating, few people
or lots of people)
• impact (minimal to lots)
Should be calculated after all evals. are in
Should be done independently by all judges
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Severity Ratings (cont.)
0 - don’t agree that this is a usability problem
1 - cosmetic problem
2 - minor usability problem
3 - major usability problem; important to fix
4 - usability catastrophe; imperative to fix
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Debriefing
Conduct with evaluators, observers, and
development team members
Discuss general characteristics of UI
Suggest potential improvements
to address major usability problems
Dev team rates how hard things are to fix
Make it a brainstorming session
• little criticism until end of session
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Severity Ratings Example
1. [H1-4 Consistency] [Severity 3][Fix 0]
The interface used the string "Save" on the first
screen for saving the user's file, but used the string
"Write file" on the second screen. Users may be
confused by this different terminology for the same
function.
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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HE vs. User Testing
HE is much faster
• 1-2 hours each evaluator vs. days-weeks
HE doesn’t require interpreting user’s actions
User testing far more accurate (by def.)
• takes into account actual users and tasks
• HE may miss problems & find “false positives”
Good to alternate between HE & user testing
• find different problems
• don’t waste participants
Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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Usable Privacy and Security • Carnegie Mellon University • Spring 2007 • Cranor/Hong• http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/courses/ups-sp07/
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User Studies Methods - Carnegie Mellon University