Sunday , June 24 2018

A Usability Assistant for the Heuristic Evaluation of Interactive Systems

Costin PRIBEANU
National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics – ICI Bucharest
8-10, Averescu Avenue, Bucharest 1, Romania

Abstract: The increasing demands for usable interactive systems in the context of limited project budgets bring in front the need for faster and cheaper evaluation methods. Heuristic evaluation is a kind of inspection method that proved to be cost effective. Typically, the method involves a small number of evaluators that are testing the interactive system against a set of usability principles called heuristics. A way to increase the efficiency of usability evaluation methods is to provide evaluators with software tools able to assist in documenting and recording of usability problems. This paper presents a software assistant for usability evaluation which provides with various facilities to conduct heuristic evaluation: definition of the tasks set, specification of heuristics used, and documenting of usability problems. In order to support the specific requirements of a target application domain a set of usability guidelines could be specified that are detailing the heuristic set. These guidelines could be consulted during usability problem identification and specification. This way, a broader range of evaluator preferences and requirements could be accommodated.

Keywords: Usability, heuristic evaluation, usability evaluation assistant, software tools, tools for working with guidelines.

Costin Pribeanu is currently a Senior Researcher at the National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics – ICI Bucharest. He received his PhD degree in Economic Informatics in 1997 from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, Romania. His research interests include usability evaluation and design of interactive systems, with a focus on task analysis, task-based design of user interfaces, design patterns, and guidelines-based evaluation. He is author of several scientific papers on user interface design and evaluation. He is an editorial board member for Springer HCI Book Series and served as program committee member / reviewer for several major conferences in this domain. Costin Pribeanu served as Chair of RoCHI (ACM SIGCHI Romania) from April 2001 to June 2009.

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CITE THIS PAPER AS:
Costin PRIBEANU, A Usability Assistant for the Heuristic Evaluation of Interactive Systems, Studies in Informatics and Control, ISSN 1220-1766, vol. 18 (4), pp. 355-362, 2009.