Friday, May 25 - 8am PDT / 10am MDT / 11am EDT / 4pm GMT
Previous meeting notes: 2007- May - 11 Meeting Agenda and Notes
(Usability and accessibility Heuristic Evaluationsand Cognitive Walkthroughs)
One of the first design activities we are working on in the Fluid project is to identify current user "pain points" by performing heuristic evaluation and cognitive walk-throughs of uPortal, Sakai and Moodle.
"Heuristic evaluation is a discount usability engineering method for quick, cheap, and easy evaluation of a user interface design" (Jacob Nielson, http://www.useit.com/papers/heuristic/). Design, usability, and accessibility experts will engage in systematic inspections of the the user interface with the goal of identifying usability and accessibility problems based on recognized principles ("heuristics"). Our particular technique will combine heuristic evaluations with cognitive walk-throughs of the user interface so that we also look at expected user flows through the system and identify potential work flow problems. Heuristic evaluation isn't, however, meant to be a replacement for watching real users' activity on a system, so we intend to use heuristics in conjunction with user testing.
These evaluations will help us identify areas of the user interface that are most in need of improvement. We can thus prioritize our work on the most important usability and accessibility problems. Based on the findings of these evaluations, we will focus on UI issues that can be solved by designing well-tested, user-centered UI components. These components will encompass common interactions that can be reused within and across community source applications. On the other hand, we don't expect that all problems can be solved by creating UI components. We'll also ensure that findings and identified solutions outside the component realm will be shared with the communities. Heuristic evaluations and walk-throughs will identify areas of focus; we will engage in solid user-centered design practices and user testing to create the right solution.
The working list of heuristics and cognitive walk-through questions for the Fluid project is being compiled at the User Experience Inspection wiki page. We welcome your input, and would very much appreciate additional volunteers to help with the evaluation process.
The checklist is organic and will continue to be refined as we learn from doing the hybrid evaluations.
As a group:
Within the "application" teams:
Assumptions: Protocol has been created
Jacob Nielsen'sdescription and overview
Applying Heuristics to Perform a Rigorous Accessibility Inspection in a Commercial Context
Heuristic Evaluation Report Example
Usability Heuristic checklistsAccessibility Heuristic checklists