|•||Comparison between packages with same functionality (e.g. in the case of purchasing).|
|•||Comparison between different versions (e.g. in the case of interface development).|
|•||Comparison between various tasks covering different functions of a package (e.g. in the case of a one-shot usability test).|
The SMEQ is easy to administer and is a good indicator of mental effort expenditure together with performance achieved. The SMEQ can be used in usability laboratory settings as well as real life office situations. And therefore the SMEQ is a proper evaluation tool to use in a software development process and to estimate the users' effort preferably in combination with user performance. As soon as a working and stable prototype is available the SMEQ can be used.
It should be noted that subjective mental effort measurement is not the same as objective mental effort. In particular, in cases of user enjoyment the estimation of the own effort expenditure might be too low. When users are feeling good and are enjoying their interaction with the system they do not fully experience their effort expenditure. In these kinds of situations they are reporting less effort expenditure then objectively measured.
Arnold, A. G. ( 1998) Action Facilitation and Interface Evaluation. A work psychological approach to the development of usable software. Delft: Delft University Press.
Arnold, A. G. ( 1998) Action Facilitation and Interface Evaluation: A work psychological approach to the development of usable software. Delft: Delft University Press.
Bösser, T. & E. M. Melchior ( 1990) "Cognitive modeling, Rapid Prototyping and User Centered Design with the SANE toolkit". Commission of the European Community (Ed.), ESPRIT'90 Conference Proceedings. Dordrecht: Kluwer, pp. 589-606.
Hacker, W. ( 1985) "Activity: A Fruitful Concept in Industrial Psychology". In: M. Frese & J. Sabini (Eds.) Goal Directed Behavior: The Concept of Action in Psychology. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.