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User-Centred Product Creation in Interactive Electronic Publishing

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Usability Evaluation

Usability evaluation is concerned with finding out (or predicting) how well users can use something, what they think about it, and what the major problems are, with the aim of improving design.

Usability evaluation is essential for assuring quality of use:

  • how effectively and efficiently intended users can achieve particular goals using a product or prototype
  • how satisfied they are with it
  • how well it meets specific requirements (e.g appeal, engagement, learnability, error avoidance, etc.)

There is great diversity of methods for evaluating usability. VNET5 focuses on a subset of these methods, chosen because they are practical and valuable for use in product creation:

  • inspection methods, which apply heuristics to assess the features of a design for their contribution to usability (enabling judgments about usability from early in design)
  • user testing, based observation of the use of systems or prototypes by a sample of users (in lab or field), to assess quality of use and identify problems
  • user satisfaction methods, which employ interviews or questionnaires to gain insights into what users think of a product, identify areas of difficulty and assess satisfaction.