Determining the Effectiveness of the Usability Problem Inspector: A Theory-Based Model and Tool for Finding Usability Problems
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The work described here addresses three important research activities. First, the User Action Framework was developed to help organize usability concepts and issues into a knowledge base that supports usability methods and tools. From the User Action Framework, a mapping was made to the Usability Problem Inspector; a tool to help practitioners conduct a highly focused inspection of an interface design. Second, the reliability of the User Action Framework was evaluated to determine if usability practitioners could use the framework in a consistent manner when classifying a set of usability problems. Third, a comprehensive comparison study was conducted to determine if the Usability Problem Inspector, based on the User Action Framework, could produce results just as effective as two other inspection methods (i.e., the heuristic evaluation and the cognitive walkthrough). The comparison study used a new comparison approach with standards, measures, and criteria to prove the effectiveness of methods. Results from the User Action Framework reliability study showed higher agreement scores at all classification levels than was found in previous work with a similar classification tool. In addition, agreement using the User Action Framework was stronger than the results obtained from the same experts using the heuristic evaluation. From the inspection method comparison study, results showed the Usability Problem Inspector to be more effective than the heuristic evaluation and consistent with effectiveness scores from the cognitive walkthrough.
- Doctoral Dissertations