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In the last chapter we looked at observing
users. Another way of finding out what users do, what they
want to do, like, or don't like is to ask them. Interviews
and questionnaires are wellestablished techniques in
social science research, market research, and humancomputer
interaction. They are used in "quick and dirty'' evaluation,
in usability testing, and in field studies to ask about facts,
behavior , beliefs, and attitudes . Interviews and questionnaires
can be structured (as in the HutchWorld case study in Chapter
10), or flexible and more like a discussion, as in field studies.
Often interviews and observation go together in field studies,
but in this chapter we focus specifically on interviewing
The first part of this chapter discusses interviews
and questionnaires. As with observation, these techniques
can be used in the requirements activity (as we decribed in
Chapter 7), but in this chapter we focus on their use in evaluation.
Another way of finding out how well a system is designed is
by asking experts for their opinions. In the second part of
the chapter, we look at the techniques of heuristic evaluation
and cognitive walkthrough. These methods involve predicting
how usable interfaces are (or are not). As in the previous
chapter, we draw on the DECIDE framework from Chapter 11 to
help structure studies that use these techniques.
The main aims of this chapter are to:
- Discuss when it is appropriate to
use different types of interviews and questionnaires.
- Teach you the basics of questionnaire
- Describe how to do interviews, heuristic
evaluation, and walkthroughs.
- Describe how to collect, analyze,
and present data collected by the techniques mentioned above.
- Enable you to discuss the strengths
and limitations of the techniques and select appropriate
ones for your own use.