Museums and the Web 2001
Conducting a Heuristic Evaluation of a Museum Web Site to Improve its Usability
A workshop presented by
David Farkas, firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Washington, Seattle, College of Engineering, Dept. of Technical Communication
Werner Schweibenz, email@example.com
University of Saarland, Saarbrücken, Dept. of Information Science
Topics of the workshop:
- Links to Web Usability
- Usability Laboratories
ISO/DIS 9241-11 Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs) Part 11: Guidance on usability
„Usability: the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.“
A definition by Joseph Dumas and Janice Redish:
„Usability means that the people who use the product can do so quickly and easily to accomplish their own tasks. This definition rests on four points:
1. Usability means focusing on users.
2. People use products to be productive.
3. Users are busy people trying to accomplish tasks.
4. Users decide when a product is easy to use.“
A definition by Jakob Nielsen:
„Usability is the measure of the quality of the user experience when interacting with something whether a web site, a traditional software application, or any other device the user can operate in some way or another.“
In the context of the World Wide Web Usability means according to Benjamin Keevil:
„how easy it is to find, understand and use the information displayed on a Web site“.
In the context of Web Sites Usability means according to Jared Spool et al.:
„Whatever the goal, information is a central theme. For intranets (internal web sites), information is the theme no one surfs the online employee policy manual just for kicks. Because of this, we focused our study on how successful sites are at providing people with information so they can make decisions. The more a site helps people find the information they are looking for, the more usable it is.
The Right to Accessibility and Usability
The Web Site Visitor’s Bill of Rights, Giga Information Group.
Print Literature on Usability and Web Usability
Dumas, J. S. / Redish, J. C. (1994): A Practical Guide To Usability Testing. 2nd edition. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing.
Keevil, B. (1998): Measuring the Usability Index of Your Web Site. In: CHI ’98. Conference Proceedings on Human factors in Computing Systems. April 18-23, 1998, Los Angeles, CA. The Association for Computing Machinery, Special Interest Group on Computer Human Interaction. New York, NY: ACM Press. 271-277
Levi, M. D./Conrad, F. G. (1996): A Heuristic Evaluation of a World Wide Web Prototype. In: interactions 07/1996. 51-61.
Nielsen, J. (1993). Usability Engineering. Boston: Academic Press.
Nielsen, J. (1997): Usability Testing. In: Salvendy, G. (1997, ed.): Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics. 2nd edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 1543-1568.
Nielsen, J. (2000): Designing Web Usability. The Practice of Simplicity. Indianapolis, IN: New Riders Publishing.
Sienot, M. (1997): Pretesting Web Sites. A Comparison Between The Plus-Minus Method And The Thinking-Aloud Method For The World Wide Web. In: Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 11 (4), 469-482.
Links to Web Usability
Special Issue World Wide Web Usability, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies (1997) 47(1) 1-222
Usable Web Links About Web Usability by Keith Instone
The Alertbox Current Issues in Web Usability by Jakob Nielsen
Heuristic Evaluation by Jakob Nielsen
User Interface Engineering Articles and Other Resources by Spool et al.
Links to Web Usability for Museum Web Sites
To Use or Not to Use? Evaluating Usability of Museum Web Sites by Franca Garzotto, Maristella Matera, and Paolo Paolini ,
presented at Museums & the Web 1998
„Web Musing“: Evaluating Museums on the Web from Learning Theory to Methodology by Lynne Teather and Kelly Wilhelm,
presented at Museums & the Web 1999
An Examination of the Impact of Subjective Cultural Issues on the Usability of a Localized Web Site – The Louvre Museum Web Site by Yvonne Cleary,
presented at Museums & the Web 2000
Evaluating the Usability of a Museum Web Site by Ilse Harms and Werner Schweibenz,
presented at Museums & the Web 2001
Some Tools for Evaluating Web Usability
Web Usability Index by Keevil & Associates, Toronto
Quicklists for Web Communication. In: Technical Communication Online, August 2000, Vol. 47, No. 3., Society for Technical Communication
Ameritech’s Usability Laboratory: From Prototype to Final Design, by Arnold M. Lund.
Microsoft’s Usability Laboratories, Redmont Campus
Automatic Evaluation of Accessibility and Usability of Web Sites
Bobby – Web accessibility tool by CAST
Web TANGO Studies Quantitative Web Page Measures
Automatic web usability evaluation by Giorgio Brajnik, Dipartimento di Matematica e Informatica, Università di Udine
Download materials from the workshop:
- the Microsoft PowerPoint slides of the presentation mwwork.ppt [100 KB – 02/17/01].
- a plan for conducting a heuristic evaluation he-plan.rtf [6 KB – 02/17/01].
- a list with suggested readings readings.rtf [7 KB – 02/17/01].
Suggestions for the Heuristic Evaluation During the Workshop
Kunstmuseum Basel Basel, Switzerland (English pages)
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA