Articles

Topic: Research Methods

Seductive User Interfaces

January 1, 1996

Because computers are no longer used exclusively for utilitarian tasks, we should use systematic methods to design products that are not just efficient but also attractive to users.

Characteristics of Usability Problems Found by Heuristic Evaluation

January 1, 1995

Heuristic evaluation is a good method of identifying both major and minor problems with an interface, but the lists of usability problems found by heuristic evaluation will tend to be dominated by minor problems, which is one reason severity ratings form a useful supplement to the method.

Severity Ratings for Usability Problems

January 1, 1995

Rating usability problems according to their severity facilitates the allocation of resources to fix the most serious problems. Severity ratings are a combination of frequency, impact, and persistence.

Summary of Usability Inspection Methods

January 1, 1995

Usability inspection is the generic name for a set of methods that are all based on having evaluators inspect a user interface. Typically, usability inspection is aimed at finding usability problems in the design, though some methods also address issues like the severity of the usability problems and the overall usability of an entire system.

How to Conduct a Heuristic Evaluation

January 1, 1995

Heuristic evaluation involves having a small set of evaluators examine the interface and judge its compliance with recognized usability principles (the "heuristics"). Adherence to specific methods can improve the outcome of an heuristic evaluation.

Usability Laboratories: A 1994 Survey

January 1, 1995

A summary of statistics for the thirteen usability laboratories in 1994, an introduction to the main uses of usability laboratories in usability engineering, and survey of some of the issues related to practical use of user testing and CAUSE tools for computer-aided usability engineering. Nielsen, J. (1994). Usability laboratories. Behaviour & Information Technology 13, 1&2, 3-8.

Goal Composition: Extending Task Analysis to Predict Things People May Want to Do

January 1, 1994

This essay describes a technique for extending a task analysis based on the principle of goal composition. Basically, goal composition starts by considering each primary goal that the user may have when using the system. A list of possible additional features is then generated by combining each of these goals with a set of general meta-goals that extend the primary goals.

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