usability-methods in web design

What are Usability Methods?

Definition: Usability methods are the protocols through which data can be collected for developing metrics for measuring usability.

Usability methods are simply different approaches to get different metrics for measuring different qualities of usability.

  • Formative Evaluation

  • Summative Evaluation

  • Inspection Methods

  • Testing Methods

  • Heuristic Evaluation

  • Usability Testing

Formative Evaluation

  • Done before the release of a design/product.

  • Can be done before and during the development of a design.

  • To identify usability issues and rectify them before the design goes into production.

  • Methods: Heuristic Evaluation, Usability testing & Discount Usability testing.

Summative Evaluation

  • Done after the construction of the design/product.

  • To measure usability against benchmark and against other products. It is also done to identify usability issues that crept up during production that are critical that need to be fixed or pushed to the next release and also to provide data to marketing to support claims of superiority over other competitors.

  • Methods: Usability Testing mostly. Heuristics Evaluation if applicable.

Inspection Methods

  • Does not make use of end users.

  • Done by usability practitioners.

  • Focused on identifying system level interface and interaction design issues and NOT end users usability issues.

  • Often make use of standard set of rules (Heuristics) to evaluate the interface and interactions.

  • Methods: Heuristic Evaluation, Expert Review, Cognitive Walkthrough.

Testing Methods