Research: The Usability of Online Collaborative Apps

Don’t you hate it when you read a press release about an interesting research paper but then discover that the paper isn’t freely available online? Big thanks to Lauren Margulieux for pointing me toward the Georgia Tech story on her research on usability in online collaborative apps. “Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have tested the most widely adopted free collaboration apps on the web to identify how well they work based on established design principles for interactive interfaces. They looked at freely available desktop apps for productivity and communication, and for those with paid features, only the free features were tested. The team found overall that the 20 selected apps provided a high level of usability for the most common tasks found across workplaces, such as e-mailing, scheduling events, managing calendars and videoconferencing. The researchers tested each app by individual function, rather than as a single tool.”