Chapter 12: Introducing Evaluation

Chapter Introduction | Web Resources | Assignment Comments | Teaching Materials

The websites associated with chapters 12-15 provide additional examples of HCI evaluations to help introduce you to the topic. Some contain examples, others prove descriptions of methods or links to case studies, and some contain discussions about topical issues. Reading them will help you to gain an appreciation of what experts in the field are thinking about. For example, Gary Perlman‘s HCI Bibliography provides an excellent selection of links to journal and conference publications, weblogs, developer resources and a variety of new and other articles that discuss HCI evaluation. One of the links on this site is which you will find useful for checking definitions when you read articles about evaluation.

Several of the sites mentioned below have been active for a number of years, so as well as reading reports about the usability of new devices and applications such as the iPad, various cell phones and the apps that run on them, Twitter and other social networking sites, and pros and cons of cloud computing, you can also check back to see what was hot 10 or 15 years ago. Jakob Nielsen‘s site, Bruce Tognazzini‘s site and those of some of the Universities, e.g., HCIL at the University of Maryland -, and the HCII at Carnegie Mellon University - - provide interesting versions of developments in HCI and interaction design and technology trends. is Jakob Nielsen's site, which includes his 'Alertbox', a bi-weekly new column that reports topical events, Jakob's opinions, and lots of other news about Jakob and HCI. Reading the Alertbox in which he discussed topical issues in the field as well as other discussions and pointers to events. The Nielsen Norman Group also reports about usability issues for specific populations and other topics. For example, discusses usability for kids; is for teens; and deals with the needs of older adults. There are also articles that are designed to be fun and provoke you such as, in which Jakob presents an analysis of the top 10 bloops that appear in movies in which technology is used. Take a look and see if you agree with him? This site contains articles and general information about usability that show how professionals think and talk about usability testing. You will also find specific material that is relevant to the chapters that follow. A nice feature of this site is that it is international - checkout some of the recent events in Europe and Asia. You can read about some of the case studies from Asia and supplement the ones that we presented in chapter 12. Bruce Tognazzini's site provides thoughtful commentary on an eclectic range of topics. Read it to broaden your understanding of key issues.

To gain a perspective of usability issues across the world see the work of the following researchers and their colleagues. As you look at these sites examine the designs, and look for explanations about the decisions that they made. Also look for their evaluation reports.

• Dr. Gary Marsden work at the University of Cape Town, South Africa

• Ian Witten‘s New Zealand Digital Library at the University of Waikato, New Zealand

• Matt Jones work at University of Swansea about gadgets that change the world

• Tampere Unit for Computer Human Interaction TAUCHI, Finland

• Design for All in India

• Anita Komlodi provides a useful annotated bibliography on cross-cultural design and evaluation

• For an overview of HCI in Brazil see the powerpoint presentation by Professor S. de Souza Sarah Horton‘s website is a valuable resource for everyone, particularly those who are eager to make computer products universally usable. She even generously provides her whole book online Think about the issues she raises and think about how you would evaluate designs that follow her guidelines. Provides a useful overview of research on electronic cognitive prostheses written by Prof. Ron Baecker, University of Toronto. This paper reminds us that designers and evaluators need to remember the needs of a wide range of users with varying capabilities. More details of some of the research mentioned by Ron Baecker can be found at this site. Provides many links to information about the needs of older adults and systems designed to support them. Alan Newell, Peter Gregor, Vicky Hansen, and their colleagues at the University of Dundee, have a strong reputation for their work with older adults, dating over many years. As well as project UTOPIA, provides links to other projects that you can explore. As with the other examples in this section think about the needs of different kinds of users and how you would evaluate designs for them.

These are just a few of the many interesting websites that you can find to supplement the discussion in our book.
In addition to these topics there are some new tools for analyzing web activities since we wrote the second edition of our book. One of the best known examples for doing web analytics is provided by Google - Google analytics -

We also discuss techniques for crowdsourcing usability testing using Amazon‘s Mechanical Turk