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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
Andrew Sears <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 3 Sep 1997 13:19:49 CDT
Andrew Sears <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (58 lines)
      The WANDS Server: A tool for anyone doing serious web
                        site development or testing

                Reduce development time!
            Deliver a more effective product!
      Experience your site as your customers see it!

The Problem

Everyone has heard complaints about download times and recent
studies have confirmed that slow-loading documents can lead to
negative opinions of both the documents and the organization that
provided them. Many organizations have even established policies
stating that their web site must be usable via a 28.8K modem.

Evaluating how web sites will appear when viewed via a modem often
involves asking employees to view the pages from home or having a
dedicated machine that is connected to your network through a modem.
Both approaches have problems: testing cannot be done without going to
a different computer, Internet delays are not accurately represented,
and you only experience the current network conditions.

The Solution

The WANDS Server is a result of a multi-year collaboration of
human-computer interaction and computer networking specialists
investigating the effects network delays have on users and how these
delays can be simulated. This proprietary software does more than
emulate access speeds. By combining access speed, time of day, day of
the week, network conditions, and the performance of the host
computer, the WANDS Server accurately reproduces network delays
without the network. By using different data in the simulation, you
can experience virtually any combination of conditions - whenever you

For the first time, you can experience realistic network delays while
viewing documents from the same computer you use for development. You
can test your site as if it is being accessed at noon via a heavily
loaded T1 line and then immediately switch and see what it would look
like if someone was browsing your site using a modem at midnight.

The WANDS Server lets you deliver a more effective product by:
* experiencing your site as your customers will see it; and
* accelerating the design - test - redesign cycle.

Here's how one company uses WANDS

Previously, the company relied on employees dialing in from home to
view the documents they created.  Now, the WANDS Server, simulating a
28.8K modem connection, will run alongside their regular HTTP server.
By viewing new documents with the WANDS Server, developers can
immediately determine how these documents look when viewed via a

For more information contact:
Andrew Sears, Ph.D. ([log in to unmask])
President, A. Sears & Associates, Inc.