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Evaluation: Inspections, Analytics, and Models

In-Depth Activity Comments 

This in-depth activity is designed to encourage you to compare heuristic evaluation with the usability testing that you did for the in-depth activity in the previous chapter. It builds on the work that you did on the new interactive product for booking tickets at the end of Chapters 11, 12, and 15.

As you do this in-depth activity 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. Did 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. Based on your findings redesign your prototype to address the main issues that you discovered from your evaluation.

Then compare the findings from this evaluation with those from the usability testing in the previous chapter. Did the two types of evaluation highlight the same design issues? How were the results similar and how were they different. If they were different how did the two sets of results influence the changes that you made to the ticket booking system prototype. What were the strengths and weaknesses of each method.

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

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