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Adaptations for the Heuristic Evaluation (HE) method to novice evaluators

Grant number: 15/09493-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2015
Effective date (End): June 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Computer Science
Principal researcher:Renata Pontin de Mattos Fortes
Grantee:André de Lima Salgado
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Matemáticas e de Computação (ICMC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Usability is an important attribute of software quality. Usability evaluations that require the presence of real users of the system are expensive and difficult to execute. Usability Inspections allow usability evaluation to occur without the presence of real users. The Heuristic Evaluation (HE) is the most used usability inspection method in the literature. However, the quality of execution of this method is linked to the expertise of the evaluators involved in the inspection. Novice evaluators achieve inferior performance in comparison with expert evaluators on conduction of HEs. Studies on improving the performance of novice evaluators during HEs are fundamental to the development of a method economically more accessible for small size enterprises, and to develop a method to supply the lack of experts with novices with quality on their performance. The literature shows studies about adaptations of HE method for children and teenagers. However, a gap still remains in the literature about adapting the HE to improve the performance of the novice evaluator profile. This project aims to investigate different adaptations of HE method in order to improve the performance of novice evaluators on conduction of HEs. The Collaborative Heuristic Evaluation (CHE) method is an adaptation of the standard method that received a well acceptation from the literature. This method has a potential to substitute the presence of multiple experts for the presence of novice evaluators, under the tutoring of only one expert, providing results with quality. However, this possibility was not yet investigated. The following research question can be raised: "Is it valid to supply the lack of expert evaluators in CHE with novice evaluators?" The present project aims to answer this question and to validate adaptations proposed in this study by comparing CHEs with adaptations against CHEs with the original method. Volunteers will perform CHEs in groups of evaluators. As results of this project, the author expects the reduction of costs in software development, especially costs related to usability evaluation. With a CHE method that is more accessible to small enterprises and start-up companies, the author aims to spread the adoption of HE and facilitate the process of usability engineering, among other benefits.

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
SALGADO, André de Lima. Adaptations to the Heuristic Evaluation (HE) method for novice evaluators. 2017. Master's Dissertation - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Ciências Matemáticas e de Computação (ICMC/SB) São Carlos.

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