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Web Anatomy: Interaction Design Frameworks that Work by Robert Jr. Hoekman, Jared Spool

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1. The Case for Frameworks

In 1998, usability expert Rolf Molich gave nine teams three weeks each to evaluate the webmail application www.hotmail.com. The experiment was part of a series of what he called Comparative Usability Evaluations (CUEs), which he began in an effort to identify a set of standards and best practices for usability tests. In each test, Rolf asked a variety of usability teams to evaluate a single design using the method of their choosing.

From the teams’ documented results of one such test—called CUE-2, as it was the second test in the series—an astonishing trend appeared.

Despite claims that usability professionals operate in a scientific fashion to determine the problems within an interface, usability evaluations are, ...

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