Layout Testing with Greeked Pages

Background Page layout, content and navigation are not always designed at the same time. It is often necessary to work through at least part of these processes separately. As a result, it may not be possible to test layouts with realistic content until a relatively late stage in the design process, meaning that usability problems [...]

AJAX And Usability Issues

AJAX and Usability Although, as described in [1] AJAX can enhance the usability of Web-based services developers need to be aware of various usability problems which may be encountered. Challenges For AJAX Developers Concept of State Once a Web page has been downloaded it has traditionally remained static. AJAX uses dynamic Web page updates which [...]

Developing User Personas

Background When designing a Web site or program, the obvious question to ask at once is, “who are my audience?” It seems natural to design with users in mind, and just as natural to wish to build a product that is satisfactory to all one’s users – however, experience shows that it is difficult to [...]

Heuristic Evaluation

Background Heuristic evaluation is a method of user testing, which enables a product to be assessed in order to identify usability problems – that is, places where the product is not easy to use. It is a discount (“quick and dirty”) method, which means that it is cheap and requires relatively little expertise. What’s Involved [...]

Task Analysis and Usability

Background A key issue in usability is that of understanding users, and a key part of user-centred design is that of describing the tasks that the users expect to be able to accomplish using the software you design [1]. Because of the origins of usability as a discipline, a lot of the terminology used when [...]

Introduction To Cognitive Walkthroughs

Introduction To Cognitive Walkthroughs The cognitive walkthrough is a method of discount (“quick and dirty”) usability testing requiring several expert evaluators. A set of appropriate or characteristic tasks to be completed is compiled. The evaluators then “walk” through each task, noting down problems or difficulties as they go. Since cognitive walkthroughs are often applied very [...]

Usability and the Web

Background Usability refers to a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use. The term is also used to refer to a number of techniques and methods for improving usability during the various stages of design and development. What Does Usability Include? Usability can be separated into several components [1] such as: [...]