Tools to support the evaluation of distributed documents
This part of the project is focusing on developing software tools to
assist in the process of evaluating distributed documents. While the
collection of tools continues to grow, the cornerstone of this part of
the project remains a set of tools called WANDS. WANDS stands for
Wide-Area Network Delay Simulator.
The WANDS tools allow document designers to view their documents
locally while experiencing realistic network delays similar to those
their users may experience if they are across the hall, across the
country, or across an ocean. The WANDS tools work by collecting
statistics about real network delays, processing the data, and using
the results to drive an instrumented WWW server.
Using these tools, designers can:
This is only a partial list of the questions that can be answered. As
more tools are developed, more questions can be addressed.
- Understand how their documents will really look when users view
them from remote locations.
- Have users experience realistic network delays while testing the
- Generate summary statistics regarding delays users may experience
while using their documents.
- Identify particularly troublesome parts of their web site prior
to making it available to the public.
Papers about these tools
Sears, A. & Borella, M. (1997, April). WANDS: Tools for designing and
testing distributed documents. CHI'97 Conference Companion, 327-328.
Borella, M.S. & Sears, A. (1997, May). WANDS: Wide-Area Network Delay
Simulator. Proceedings of the 7th International Workshop
on Network and Operating System Support for Digital Audio and Video. 89-96.
Information Systems Department
University of Maryland Baltimore County
For more information
If you would like more information about these tools, or would like to
find out how you can use them, please contact Andrew Sears by email or by phone: