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5.2

Usability evaluation
Usability evaluation is a theoretical way to appraise the productís usability. It is handled by one or several usability experts.

Benefits of this method: it is less time and money consuming, as compared with usability testing.

Quality and relevance of results are directly linked with expertsí competence.

Each usability expert develops own approach to interface evaluation and has own views on how deeply to investigate this or that interface element and how to set priorities.

Depending on the goals the Expert Evaluation falls into: Quality Evaluation, Heuristic Evaluation, Cognitive Walkthrough ŤŽŤ comparative expertise.


Quality evaluation

This method helps to identify possible problem zones of the product and evaluate their impact on usability from qualitative methods. Upon completion of the analysis the expert makes suggestions of ways to eliminate the problem zones.

1. Functional layer

  • The expert identifies all functional errors, which make it complicated or impossible for him (and for any user) to go through all scenario steps
  • The expert records the systemís ability to process errors

Impact on usability: Efficiency, Productivity, Functionality, Safety




2. Structure/navigate layer

  • The expert records all errors and pitfalls of the structure and navigation, which interfere with scenarios application
  • Impact of the structure on the choice of scenarios is recorded

Impact: Productivity, Satisfaction, Learnability




3. Content layer

  • The expert records all theme errors occurring in the content, provided they are irrelevant to the chosen TA
  • The experts also judge on texts compliance with interface limitations
  • Availability of prompting messages and their relevance to the Help section is also double-checked

Impact: Efficiency, Satisfaction




4. Compositional layer

  • The expert checks location of functional, information and graphic elements on web pages and judge on their relevance to the general standards of interface design development featuring in the checklist

Impact: Efficiency, Productivity, Satisfaction




5. Visual layer

  • Survey of the impact of visual and graphic elements on the user in accordance with standards of art and design, with proportions, coloristics, association icons / images and the unity of style

Impact: Productivity, Satisfaction, Learnability


Once all errors are recorded, the experts analyze their impact on the productís usability and make suggestions on the way to eliminate them.

The final document: UE expertise

Further: Heuristic evaluation



Usability evaluation | Heuristic evaluation | Cognitive walkthrough | Compared evaluation