Usability Inspection Methods

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Jakob Nielsen, Robert L. Mack
Wiley, May 9, 1994 - Computers - 448 pages
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The last few years have seen the emergence of usability inspection (UI) as an important new tool to help user interface designers and software developers guarantee that their products meet the highest standards of usability. Everywhere UI methods have been implemented they have proven to be faster, cheaper, and in many regards, more reliable than user testing and other standard approaches to ensuring design usability. Usability Inspection Methods is the first comprehensive, book-length work in this rapidly growing field. Coedited by Jakob Nielsen, the man who coined the term "usability inspection," it offers readers the unique opportunity to learn stateof-the-art UI methods from the women and men who developed them. Designed to get readers quickly up and running with the full complement of UI strategies, tools, and techniques, this extremely practical guide offers step-by-step guidance to all important methods now in use, in chapters authored by the methods’ inventors themselves. Following a detailed overview of the field is a series of chapters devoted to detailed descriptions of the heuristic evaluation method, the pluralistic walk-through method, the cognitive walk-through method, techniques for integrating formal usability inspections with other methods into a coherent frame-work, and other proven UI methods. Each chapter in this section includes reports on the valuable empirical evidence of the benefits of the method covered. Later chapters offer numerous case studies, and a comparative analysis of UI with user testing, as well as a thorough breakdown of the cost-benefit characteristics of UI as compared to other approaches, several UI program prototypes providing computer support for interface designers, and much more. Authoritative, timely, and offering a wealth of hands-on instruction on all important methods and techniques, Usability Inspection Methods is an indispensable resource for user interface developers and software designers, as well as graduate students and researchers specializing in interfaces.

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About the author (1994)

About the editors JAKOB NIELSEN, PhD, is a distinguished engineer in the human factors engineering department of SunSoft. Dr. Nielsen’s earlier affiliations include the IBM User Interface Institute at the T. J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., the Technical University of Denmark, and Bellcore (Bell Communications Research). Nielsen coined the term "usability inspection" and is also the co-inventor of the heuristic evaluation methods described in this book. He is on the editorial boards of ACM Interactions User Interface magazine, Behaviour & Information Technology, Hypermedia Journal, Interacting with Computers, International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, and International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. Jakob Nielsen is also the vice chair for publications of the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction. ROBERT L. MACK, PhD, is a Research Staff Member at IBM’s Thomas Watson Research Center in New York, where he manages a usability engineering group in the Computer Science Department. Dr. Mack’s research interests have focused on advanced user interface technologies—such as IBM’s Common User Access graphical user interface guidelines—and development of methods for supporting usability engineering, including qualitative user interface methods such as thinking aloud, competitive benchmarking, and usability inspection methods. Dr. Mack has pursued many of these research interests while working with IBM development groups, and as a member of the IBM User Interface Institute between 1985 and 1992. He has taught courses on usability engineering and user interface design within IBM for a number of years.

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