a product design process
Suma Suzuki,Ayako Kaneko,Kazunori Ohmura
Practical usability evaluation techniques for product development should be available early in the development process as well as time- and cost-effective. Inspection methods such as cognitive walkthroughs and heuristic evaluation have been developed to satisfy these requirements. However, both methods are less practical in that heuristic evaluation needs usability specialists ( Nielsen 1992) and cognitive walkthroughs are difficult for novice evaluators ( Wharton et al. 1992).
Being usable for novice evaluators is another requirement for practical methods to be widely employed for product development. Therefore, we developed and introduced QUIS (Quick Usability Inspection System) into our company, a new inspection method designed for product engineers without usability expertise, based on the cognitive walkthrough ( Suzuki et al. 1995). Despite its effectiveness verified by experiments, however, QUIS has been employed in only a few products. In this paper we first outline QUIS and our activities of promoting QUIS and then discuss issues we should consider in introducing evaluation tools into a product design process.
The basic procedure of QUIS is identical with the cognitive walkthrough. Inspectors evaluate an interface following task scenarios, focusing on whether users can perform all operations for a task without difficulty. Because QUIS has been developed especially for novice evaluators such as software engineers, it has the following features in comparison with the cognitive walkthrough.