Norman, K., Campbell, S. (May 2005)
The U.S. Bureau of the Census is testing new methods of collecting census information both online with Web-based self-administered surveys and in person with enumerators using PDAs going to each household. Usability testing has been hampered by the fact that household and personal data is confidential under “Title 13” security regulations. To avoid these problems, we propose to collect data analogous to household census data, but that is not subject to Title 13, namely, information about household pets. Survey screens for the Web have been reconfigured so that they have all of the same features, functionality, and types of data as those for the household census data but pertain to pets rather than persons. These interfaces can be easily tested in the lab or on the Web without personal data security concerns.