Chapter 15: Evaluation: Inspections, Analytics, and Models

Chapter Introduction | Web Resources | Assignment Comments | Teaching Materials

As you do this assignment we suggest that you start by reviewing Nielsen’s heuristics and deciding which are appropriate for evaluating the web-based ticketing system. You will also need to think about how many heuristics you wish to use. More than 10 are likely to be hard to remember and less than 7 will probably not provide the detail you need. If possible you could explore the effect of having more than one expert evaluator - for example you could work on developing the heuristics with a friend, then you could each do your own evaluation and compare the results that you obtain. Do you both identify the same problems? Having completed the evaluation you will need to decide which of the problems are most important and need to be fixed in the prototype design. Some may be quite easy to fix and will have a big impact; others may require a much larger redesign than you can do; or require more effort than is warranted for the benefits to be derived.

The next parts of the assignment are designed to encourage you to compare the three evaluation approaches that you have learned about: usability testing, heuristic evaluation and field studies, including “in the wild” studies. Start by comparing heuristic evaluation and usability testing? Did you obtain similar findings from both approaches? If not, how did they differ and what does this mean? What are the logistical differences? Which is easier and for whom? Which is least expensive? Then go through the same questions adding field studies into the comparison. Drawing up a table to compare the three will enable you to understand the benefits and limitations of each within the context of evaluating the web-based ticketing system.

After you've made your comparison, you may want to look to see what other researchers have found in their comparisons by searching, the ACM digital library (if your university is a member) or our web resources or the web for other research papers.