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Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Edition by Jenny Preece, Yvonne Rogers, Helen Sharp

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12

Introducing evaluation

  • Examine how the approaches and methods are used for different purposes at different stages of the design process.
  • Discuss some of the practical challenges that evaluators have to consider when doing evaluation.
  1. 12.1 Introduction
  2. 12.2 The why, what, where, and when of evaluation
  3. 12.3 Evaluation approaches and methods
  4. 12.4 Evaluation case studies
  5. 12.5 What did we learn from the case studies?

12.1 Introduction

Imagine you have designed a website for sharing music, gossip, and photos among teenagers. You have used Flash to prototype your first design and implemented the core functionality. How would you find out whether it would appeal to teenagers and if they will use it? You would carry out an evaluation study.

Evaluation is integral to the design process. It collects information about users' or potential users' experiences when interacting with a prototype, computer system, a component of a computer system, or a design artifact, e.g. screen sketch, in order to improve its design. It focuses on both the usability of the system, e.g. how easy it is to learn and to use, and on the users' experience when interacting with the system, e.g. how satisfying, enjoyable, or motivating the interaction is.

The web's presence and, more recently, the proliferation of cell phones and other small digital devices like iPods, has heightened awareness about usability, but many designers still assume that if they and their colleagues can use the product and find it attractive, ...

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