Variable Instrumenter Program | Download | Installation | Operation | Results

Purpose

WebVIP is a tool to augment traditional user testing on a given set of tasks. WebVIP lets the usability engineer rapidly instrument a website for local or remote testing by employing automated techniques. During setup, a website is instrumented. During operation, user interaction data is collected.

How WebVIP works

During setup, WebVIP prompts the usability engineer to choose the types of user events to log. These choices are converted to JavaScripts which are then inserted into each page of the target website. During subsequent operation of WebVIP, as users interact with the newly instrumented pages, a logfile is created that contains time-stamped entries of the specified interaction events.

WebVIP performs several steps in the process of instrumenting a website; it copies a website to a test directory, parses the HTML pages and adds JavaScript code to the pages. During user interaction with the pages, the selected events types are captured, time-stamped, and recorded in session-specific FLUD log files.

Since the logfiles are created in the standard FLUD format, they may be used by any application that accepts such files. Currently, the only application that has been developed to interpret FLUD logfiles is the NIST FLUD parser. The parser generates 1) a pretty-print, html version of the log data which can be used to inspect user interaction patterns and 2) data files suitable for visualization with VisVIP. The Web Metrics team plans to develop other FLUD-compliant modules, such as a statistical analysis tool and a visualization for exploring intrapage interaction patterns. We encourage others to use the format as a basis for creating additional usability exploration tools.

Notes

WebVIP is a tool in the Web Metrics Testbed developed at NIST. For more information, see http://www.nist.gov/webmetrics. Direct all comments and questions to webmetrics@nist.gov. Before using this tool, please review the WebVIP release notes and known bugs.

See NIST Web Metrics disclaimer.



Overview | Installation | Operation | Results
Version 2.5
Page last modified: 15 May 2002
About this installation