Vizability: Visualizing Usability Evaluation Data Based on the User Action Framework

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Student
Catanzaro, Christopher David
Degree
MS
Defense date
2005-04-28
Department
Computer Science
Commitee
North, Christopher L., Chair
Hartson, H. Rex, Member
Perez-Quinones, Manuel A., Member
Abstract
Organizations have recognized usability engineering as a needed step in the development process to ensure the success of any product. As is the case in all competitive settings areas for improvement are scouted and always welcomed. In the case of usability engineering a lot of time, money, equipment, and other resources are spent to gather usability data to identify and resolve usability problems in order to improve their product. The usability data gained from the expenditure of resources is often only applied to the development effort at hand and not reused across projects and across different development groups within the organization. More over, the usability data are often used at a level that forces the organization to only apply the data to that specific development effort. However, if usability data can be abstracted from the specific development effort and analyzed in relation to the process that created and identified the data; the data can then be used and applied over multiple development efforts. The User Action Framework (UAF) is a hierarchical framework of usability concepts that ensures consistency through completeness and precision. The UAF by its nature classifies usability problems at a high level. This high level classification affords usability engineers to not only apply the knowledge gained to the current development effort but to apply the knowledge across multiple development efforts. This author presents a mechanism and a process to allow usability engineers to find insights in their usability data to identify both strengths and weaknesses in their process. In return usability practitioners and companies can increase their return on investment by extending the usefulness of usability data over multiple development efforts.
ETD Page
http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-05112005-210709/

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