Understanding HCI

User Logging

What is User Logging

  1. Participants are given themes or particular questions to which they respond in writing.
  2. There are several versions of user generated reports including Incident Diary Forms, Free Form Self Reports and Experiential Learning Exercises.

Why Use it

  1. Used to gain understanding of internalisation of process or environment including emotional response.
  2. Very useful when designing virtual reality systems
  3. Technique is used to reduce the likelihood that there will be a ‘mismatch between the designers’ predictions and actual product use … likely to lead to customer dissatisfaction and frustration with the product.’

Participants Needed


One usability expert is required for the exercise.


6 users are sufficient to gain a representative sample for user logging

Task List

  1. Enlist 6 users to participate who normally use the system or environment
  2. Have them log or note responses to particular questions as they arise

Limitations Of method

  1. Participants can have a wide variety of abilities to create a report of the required depth and detail.
  2. Data is subjective; however in this case, this is what the researcher is looking for.
  3. Can be high non-completion rate - incentives/reminders may be required
  4. May unduly interfere with users normal daily tasks