Chapter 13: An Evaluation Framework

Chapter Introduction | Web Resources | Assignment Comments | Teaching Materials

The websites in this section present different ways of classifying evaluation methods that you can compare with the DECIDE framework introduced in Chapter 13. This site was created by Keith Instone. It provides many links to sites that deal with different aspects of web usability. There are links to guidelines, examples of poor design and other information that will help you to select which methods to use in your own evaluations. provides an alternative way of classifying evaluation methods, so is particularly relevant to this chapter. This site offers a classification and descriptions of some key techniques. Graduate Students at University of Maryland developed the site about ten years ago but some people may still find it useful. There is also a section that discusses the role of theory in HCI design and evaluation. This site groups information about different methods testing, inspection and inquiry. The information that it provides is very mixed in quality so be particularly discerning. Suggested further reading is given at the end of many sections, which refers readers to the same text, suggesting that much of the information on this site comes from a limited range of sources. There are also links to information about courses and workshops. This company’s website provides some different ways of classifying usability methods: according to when they are used in the product development life-cycle; according to whether they are lab-based, focus groups or in the field etc.; and according to the type of product being tested. Web Performance Matters focuses on four main issues:

  • Availability: A site that's unreachable, for any reason, is useless.
  • Responsiveness: Having reached the site, pages that download slowly are likely to drive customers to try an alternate site.
  • Clarity: If the site is sufficiently responsive to keep the customer's attention, other design qualities come into play. It must be simple and natural to use - easy to learn, predictable, and consistent.
  • Utility: Last comes utility -- does the site actually deliver the information or service the customer was looking for in the first place?