Integrating Semiotics Perception in Usability Testing to Improve Usability Evaluation

Integrating Semiotics Perception in Usability Testing to Improve Usability Evaluation

Muhammad Nazrul Islam (Åbo Akademi University, Finland) and Franck Tétard (Uppsala University, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4046-7.ch007
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Abstract

User interfaces of computer applications encompass a number of objects such as navigation links, buttons, icons, and thumbnails. In this chapter, these are called interface signs. The content and functions of a computer application are generally directed by interface signs to provide the system’s logic to the end users. The interface signs of a usable application need to be intuitive to end users and therefore a necessary part of usability evaluation. Assessing sign intuitiveness can be achieved through a semiotic analysis. This study demonstrates how a semiotic assessment of interface signs’ intuitiveness yielded a number of benefits. For instance, (i) it provides an overall idea of interface signs’ intuitiveness to the end users to interpret the meaning of interface signs, (ii) it assists in finding usability problems and also in (iii) recommending possible solutions, (iv) provides background for introducing guidelines to design user-intuitive interface signs, (v) helps in constructing heuristic checklist from semiotics perspective to evaluate an application, (vi) no additional resource and extra budget are needed. This study also presents a list of methodological guidelines to obtain the perceived benefits of integrating semiotic perception in usability testing for practitioners.

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