Integrated Methods for a User Adapted Usability Evaluation

Integrated Methods for a User Adapted Usability Evaluation

Junko Shirogane (Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, Japan), Yuichiro Yashita (Waseda University, Japan), Hajime Iwata (Kanagawa Institute of Technology, Japan) and Yoshiaki Fukazawa (Waseda University, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2491-7.ch019
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Abstract

Specifically, the authors’ research focuses on employing automatic usability evaluations to identify problems. For example, they analyze the operation histories, but do not focus on manually performed evaluations such as heuristic ones. They assume their research can aid software developers and usability engineers because their work allows them to recognize the more serious problems. Consequently, the software can be modified to resolve the usability problems and better meet the end users’ requirements. In the future, the authors strive to integrate more diverse usability evaluations, including heuristic evaluations, to refine integration capabilities, to identify problems in more detail, and to improve the effectiveness of the usability evaluations.
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Background

There are many researches focused on usability evaluations.

Babaian et al. proposed a method to use operation histories of end users to design interfaces (Babaian, Lucas, & Topi 2006). In every component, various types of information such as operation time and keystrokes are recorded. Then usability assessments are performed in terms of efficiency of UI operations and work achievements. However, the results are not integrated based on criteria that software developers and end users determine. In our method, the results of usability evaluations can be integrated based on specific criteria.

Fukuzumi et al. proposed a method to evaluate usability of a system via checklists (Fukuzumi, Ikegami, & Okada, 2009). The criteria are clear in the checklists and the evaluation can reflect the evaluator’s intent. However, evaluations of a large-scale system are a heavy burden and highly skilled evaluators are necessary to appropriately assess usability. In contrast, usability evaluations in our method only require the evaluators to operate the software.

Fiora et al. proposed to evaluate usability of software using component information and operation histories of end users (Fiora, Baker, & Warren, 2008). GUIs are evaluated based on operating time, number of times of component usage and users’ behaviors. Based on this method, a usability testing framework for mobile terminals is developed. However, usability evaluations in this method are performed for one screen. In our method, usability of many windows is evaluated, and more serious usability problems can be identified.

Atterer et al. proposed a method to evaluate usability of Web pages (Atterer, Wnuk, & Schmidt, 2006). In this method, operation histories, such as mouse and keyboard events in Web pages, are recorded using JavaScript. Based on the recorded information, usability evaluations are performed by analyzing whether end users finish a specific task. However, evaluations of various perspectives are not performed in this method.

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