Testing in translation: Conducting usability studies with transnational users

Emma Rose, Robert Racadio


In this article, we present a reflection on the methodology and methods for a usability study conducted in partnership with a non-profit organization in Seattle, Washington in the United States. The organization is a community health center that provides health care services to medically underserved patients, including immigrant populations, regardless of their ability to pay. The purpose of the usability study was to examine a print document, called the guidebook, which was designed to support patients as they signed up for health insurance plans through the newly enacted Affordable Care Act. The guidebook had been designed in English with a multi-lingual audience in mind and translated into multiple languages. The main audiences for the document were immigrant populations from Vietnam and China and therefore the usability study was conducted in participants’ native languages.


user experience; usability testing; transnational

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