Human-Computer Interaction: Ergonomics and User Interfaces - Vol. 1

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview

Quality Control and the Usability Evaluation
Haruo Imai, Akiko Irie, Hiroko Mayuzumi
Quality Management Headquarters, Canon Inc.
1
Introduction
In recent years, user group of Canon products has widened, due to diversification of our sales to peripheral products of computers, such as printers, digital cameras, etc. Accordingly, we have experienced sharp increase in inquiries and complaints from customers on the installation and operation of such products. Not only to reduce the increasing cost involved in handling the calls from customers, but to protect the brand image, it has become an urgent matter to set up a system for developing products from the customer's viewpoint; the products that would "satisfy the customer and are easy to use".Quality Management Headquarters has, therefore, started "'Activity to Improve Quality for Customers'" to set up a new quality assurance system including the requirements of ISO 13407. In this system, product planning is examined from the customer's viewpoint and compatibility is evaluated during the product development process. The methods used in this system include market research, breakdown of inquiries, comparison with competitor products, etc. Among various methods, we regard usability evaluation as the most important factor and have adopted Canon's own practical evaluation methods.
2
Practical Usability Evaluation Methods
Various approaches have been studied as usability evaluation methods [ Nielsen 1993; Rubin 1994; Nielsen and Mack 1994; Bias and Mayhew 1994; Kaiho and Harada 1993], but to make it useful at the product development stage, we value the following three points.
1. The degree of usability is measurable in the comparable scale with other quality elements such as reliability, safety, performance, etc., and that in an easily understandable manner.

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