Analytical and Empirical Method

Topics: Usability, User interface, Heuristic evaluation Pages: 12 (3396 words) Published: December 8, 2010
Table of Contents
Analytical Method (Heuristic usability)2
Heuristic Usability Principals3
How to conduct heuristic evaluation?5
Empirical Method (Usability Testing)7
What is Usability Testing?7
How to conduct a usability testing?7
Advantages of Usability Testing8
Disadvantages of Usability Testing9
Task 211
Description of the problem11
Description of the difficulties11

Task 1
There are 4 ways mostly to evaluate user interface. Heuristic Evaluation (heuristically) by just looking at the interface and passing judgement according to one’s own view.Cognitive Walkthrough (analytical method) by some analysis procedure, Pluralistic Walkthroughs (empirically) by experiments with trial users, Feature, Consistency & Standards Inspection (automatically),by a programmed procedure. For this assignment I have choose the usability testing for empirical method where else for analytical method I have choose heuristic method.[1]

Analytical Method (Heuristic usability)
What is heuristic?
“Heuristic evaluation is a discount usability engineering method for quick, cheap, and easy evaluation of a user interface design.” [3] In heuristic evaluation the usability issues covered are effectiveness and efficiency but do not considered the satisfaction. Quantitative Data is not collected.this method also can be conducted remotely also can be used on any system. Several evaluators independently evaluate the interface & come up with potential usability problems. It is important that there be several of these evaluators and that the evaluations be done independently. Nielsen's experience indicates that around 5 evaluators usually results in about 75% of the overall usability problems being discovered.

Heuristic Usability Principals
Here I am going to explain more and have a closer look at what condition are needed to evaluate interfaces. Basically the evaluation is easier than design. The principles are the basic points that drive design and drive evaluation as well. The principals are: 1. Visibility of system status

The application should always keep user on track and well known on which section of the application they are. This can avoid confusion and user can get the information easily without consuming more time.

2. Match between system and the real world.
The relationship between two things, in most cases the mapping from digital world to real world. Metaphors and analogies

3. User control and freedom
User should be informed what the system is doing and is the user on the right track, does it work the way it is suppose to work. This can prevent the user to do their activity correctly on path without having to redo all again. The application also should support undo and redo. The system should confirm with the user before take any action on the application, so user can exit immediately from new actions that risk them.

4. Consistency and standards
An application should have a standard platform convention like the symmetry of the interface. Is it symmetrical? (Left-Right, Top-Bottom, Center).This includes also the wording to access the application example for navigation bar. The “Home” button should be same for all pages. It should not been changed to other type of looks (symbol or font) at other page when user access to it.

5. Error prevention
The text message for error prevention should convey a message to user while they are currently on the application and risky to faulty. User can understand what the error message is about and prevent the faulty happen before they proceed to the next step.

6. Recognition rather than recall
Using symbols that make user feel ease to recognize, remember and think what is the use of the button. The colour contrast also effect attention and focus where the user has been explored on the...
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