Title: Evaluating usability problems and use errors in ergonomic products: comparing analytical methods and usability test

Authors: Lars-Ola Bligård; Anna-Lisa Osvalder

Addresses: Division Design and Human Factors, Department of Industrial and Material Science, Chalmers University of Technology, SE 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden ' Division Design and Human Factors, Department of Industrial and Material Science, Chalmers University of Technology, SE 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden

Abstract: In product design, it is important to consider presumptive usability problems and use errors. A number of evaluation methods are available, analytical as well as empirical. This study aimed to investigate how well the results from the two analytical methods, enhanced cognitive walkthrough (ECW) and predictive use error analysis (PUEA), match the results of a usability test. A vacuum cleaner and an office chair were used in the evaluations. The ECW predicted 90% of the usability problems and the PUEA predicted 58% of the use errors that were identified in the usability test. For the ECW, the difference is that the method only investigates the correct way to perform a task, whereas for the PUEA the difference depends on the chosen user as well as the evaluator's creativity in making and predicting errors. To conclude, these methods are valuable tools in early phases of the product development process.

Keywords: analytical method; usability evaluation; usability problem; usability test; use error.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFE.2017.088414

International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2017 Vol.5 No.1, pp.1 - 21

Available online: 29 Nov 2017

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