Empirical Usability Testing in a Component-Based Environment: Improving Test Efficiency with Component-Specific Usability Measures

Willem-Paul Brinkman, R. Haakma, D.G. Bouwhuis. Empirical Usability Testing in a Component-Based Environment: Improving Test Efficiency with Component-Specific Usability Measures. In EHCI-DSVIS 2004. Volume 3425 of pages 20-37, 2005. [doi]

Abstract

This paper addresses the issue of usability testing in a component-based software engineering environment, specifically measuring the usability of different versions of a component in a more powerful manner than other, more holistic, usability methods. Three component-specific usability measures are presented: an objective performance measure, a perceived ease-of-use measure, and a satisfaction measure. The objective performance measure is derived from the message exchange between components recorded in a log file, whereas the other measures are obtained through a questionnaire. The power of the measures was studied in an experimental setting. Eight different prototypes of a mobile telephone were subjected to usability tests, in which 80 subjects participated. Analyses of the statistical power of these measures show that the component-specific performance measure can be more powerful than overall usability measures, which means fewer users are needed in a test.

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