Tips & tricks

This is a small list of observations and pointers which we don’t know where else to put.

Before starting an experiment

Make sure that if participants are in different experiment cubicles, or separated by a divider, that they are not able to sense the vibrations from each other’s keyboards.

Make sure that if participants are in the same room that if they are facing away from each other, they can’t see the reflection of each other’s screen in their own.

If playing the maze game - hide pens from the table - participants often draw on the screen.

Don’t run the experiment from a USB stick (definitely not the server!). Some of the drivers for USB drives are somewhat buggy, making a crash much more likely!

Make sure that all the clocks on all computers are synchronized - and are in the same timezone! This can save some embarrassing headaches later on!

After an experiment

Always make sure that you save a copy of the “chattool.jar” file along with your data. The jar file contains all the source code of the experiment - which means that if you wish to reconstruct the experiment or extract some data from the logs it will be straightforward.