What to test ( Boling)

  • information design
  • navigation
  • screen design/layout
  • symbols, buttons, and icons
  • terminology
  • consistency/match with user's task

    How to test

  • heuristic evaluation
  • scenario-based testing
  • questionnaire
  • mining the logs

    Heuristics of usability testing ( Boling)

  • context-specific
  • data-driven
  • descriptive, not prescriptive
  • flexible and pragmatic

    More Heuristics

    And more heuristics


  • MYTH: Design is a luxury.
  • MYTH: Developing a customer solution is just conceptually and logistically too big to tackle; people working at the solution level will get bogged down in unmanageable issues. You should develop the product as a set of components, and then organize your development team to mimic the product.
  • MYTH: User interface design responsibility is best distributed within components. Each implementer designs the user interface for his module.
  • MYTH: Teamwork.
  • MYTH: Software companies generally assign usability a high priority.
  • MYTH: Usability and functionality have separate requirements.
  • MYTH: Users should design user interfaces. Designers should avoid making decisions on behalf of the user -- users know best what they need. The best thing we could do is give them a blank sheet of paper and get out of their way.
  • MYTH: Design teams should include a customer. This is a shortcut to getting user input, and it allows you to skip the messy business of usability testing.
  • MYTH: Eliminate alternatives ASAP. Designers should not waste time exploring alternative approaches, but should stick with one unless it collapses under its own weight -- and only then explore a new approach.
  • MYTH: Innovative design is better design. Users prefer software that has creative new methods of presentation.
  • MYTH: Good user interface developers can both design and code the user interface.
  • MYTH: User feedback speaks for itself; it does not require interpretation. If one or two users dislike a feature of the design, change it. If one or two users dislike the new design, change it again.

    So what to do?