Evaluation techniques: Exploring the intersection of HCI and software engineering

  • Joëlle Coutaz
Invited Papers
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 896)


This article discusses the improvement in usability of interactive systems through the transfer of methods, tools and concepts between software engineering and HCI. It explores commonalities between these two communities, and shows how usability testing can be incorporated within different models of the software development process. Techniques and methods for usability testing differ widely depending on the development stage, resources available, and the competence of the assessors. This paper shows that each usability technique has a natural anchor point within the software development process. However, in practice such techniques are not exploited by the software community. This article suggests complementary ways of improving the situation.


Usability engineering usability testing evaluation techniques software quality assurance 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [ACN92]
    G. Abowd, J. Coutaz, L. Nigay Structuring the Space of Interactive System Properties, IFIP TC2/WG2.7 Working Conference on Engineering for Human Computer Interaction, Elsevier Publ., Ellivuori, Finland, August, 1992.Google Scholar
  2. [Afc89]
    AFCIQ, Section logicielle, Groupe planification et coûts, S/Groupe Plan Assurance Qualité Logiciel PAQL. Recommandations de Plan d'Assurance Qualité Logicielle; version VO 23/03/89, 1989.Google Scholar
  3. [Bar87]
    P.J. Barnard, “Cognitive Resources and the Learning of Humnan-Computer Dialogs”, in Interfacing Thought, Cognitive Aspects of Human-Computer Interaction, J.M. Carroll Ed., MIT Press Publ., 1987, pp.112–158.Google Scholar
  4. [Bar88]
    M.F. Barthet, Logiciels interactifs et ergonomie, modèles et méthodes de conception, Editions Dunod Informatique, 1988.Google Scholar
  5. [BM91]
    V. R. Basili and J. D. Musa. The Future of Engineering Software: A Management Perspective. IEEE Computer, 24(9): 90–96, September 1991.Google Scholar
  6. [Ber93]
    N.O. Bernsen, “Structuring Design Spaces”, in Adjunct Proceedings of INTERCHI'93 Conference, 1993, pp. 211–212.Google Scholar
  7. [Boe88]
    B.W. Boehm, “A spiral Model of Software Development and Enhancement”, IEEE Computer, May 1988.Google Scholar
  8. [CMN83]
    S.K. Card, T.P. Moran & A. Newell, The psychology of Human Computer Interaction, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1983.Google Scholar
  9. [CSB93]
    J. Coutaz, D. Salber, S. Balbo, Towards the Automatic Evaluation of Multimodal User Interfaces, Special Issue “Intelligent User Interfaces”, Knowledge-Based Systems, 1993.Google Scholar
  10. [DA89]
    Nils Dahlbäck and Arne Jönsson: “Empirical studies of discourse representations for natural language interfaces”, Fourth Conference of the European Chapter of the ACL Proceedings, 1989, pp. 291–298.Google Scholar
  11. [DJA92]
    N. Dahlbäck, A. Jönsson and L. Ahrenberg: “Wizard of Oz studies — why and how”, Third Conference on Applied Natural Language Processing, Trento, Italy, 31 march–3 April 1992.Google Scholar
  12. [Dia89]
    D. Diaper: “The Wizard's Apprentice: A Program to Help Analyse Natural Languages Dialogues”, proceedings of the fifth conference of the British Computer Society, Human-Computer Interaction Specialist Group, University of Nottingham, 5–8 September 1989, pp. 231–243.Google Scholar
  13. [DJ89]
    J. Dowell, J. Long, Towards a Conception for an Engineering Discipline of Human Factors, in Ergonomics, 32, 1513–1535.Google Scholar
  14. [FKP92]
    J.-M. Francony, E. Kuijpers and Y. Polity: “Towards a methodology for Wizard of Oz experiments”, Third Conference on Applied Natural Language Processing, Trento, Italy, 31 march–3 April 1992.Google Scholar
  15. [GS90]
    R. Guindon and K. Schuldberg: “Grammatical and Ungrammatical Structures in User-Adviser Dialogues; Evidence For Sufficiency of Restricted Languages in Natural Language Interfaces to Advisory Systems”. In proceedings of the 25th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, 1990.Google Scholar
  16. [HHH92]
    M.L. Hammontree, J.J. Hendrickson, B.W. Hensley, “Integrated Data Capture and Analysis Tools for Research and Testing on Graphical User Interfaces”, in the CHI'92 Conference Proceedings, ACM Press Publ., 1992, pp. 431–432.Google Scholar
  17. [HD92]
    R. Hartson, P.D. Gray, “Temporal Aspects of Tasks in the User Action Notation”, Human-Computer Interaction, Laurence Erlbaum, vol. 7, No 1, pp. 1–45, 1992.Google Scholar
  18. [IEE87]
    IEEE Software Engineering Standards; IEEE Press, 1987.Google Scholar
  19. [HD92]
    P. Johnson, P. Markopoulos, S. Wilson, J. Pycock, “Task based design: Mapping between user task models and user interface designs”, In Proceedings of second workshop on Mental Models in HCI, University of Cambridge, England, 1992.Google Scholar
  20. [JWM+93]
    P. Johnson, S. Wilson, P. Markopoulos, J. Pycock, “ADEPT-Advanced Design Environment fror Prototyping With Task Models”, In adjunct Proceedings, INTERCHI'93,1993, pp. 56–56.Google Scholar
  21. [JD88]
    A. Jönsson and N. Dahlbäck: “Talking to A Computer is Not Like Talking To Your Best Friend”, Proceedings of the Scandinavian Conference on Artificial Intelligence '88, pp. 53–68.Google Scholar
  22. [KP85]
    D. Kieras, P.G. Poison “An Approach to the Formal Analysis of User Complexity”, International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 22, 1985, pp. 365–394.Google Scholar
  23. [LMO89]
    F.J. Lerch, M.M. Mantei, J.R. Olson, “Skilled financial planning: The Cost of Translating Ideas into Actions”, in Proceedings of CHI'89, ACM Press, 1989, pp. 121–126.Google Scholar
  24. [LPW+90]
    C. Lewis, P. Poison, C. Wharton, J. Rieman, “Testing a Walkthrough Methodology for Theory-Based Design of Walk-Up-and-Use Interfaces, in Proceedings of CHI'90, ACM Press, 1990, pp. 235–241.Google Scholar
  25. [LN90]
    J. Löwgren & T. Nordqvist, “A Knowledge-Based Tool for User Interface Evaluation and its Integration in a UIMS”, Human-Computer Interaction-INTERACT'90, pp. 395–400.Google Scholar
  26. [Mac88]
    Wendy E. Mackay: “Video: Data for Studying Human-Computer Interaction”, CHI '88, 1988, pp. 133–137.Google Scholar
  27. [MGM93]
    D. Maulsby, S. Greenberg, R. Mander: “Prototyping an Intelligent Agent through Wizard of Oz”, InterCHI'93 Proceedings, pp. 277–284.Google Scholar
  28. [McC77]
    J. McCall. Factors in Software Quality; General Electric Eds, 1977.Google Scholar
  29. [MR84]
    J. McDermid & K. Ripkin, Life Cycle Support in the ADA environment, Cambridge University Press, 1984.Google Scholar
  30. [NM90]
    J. Nielsen, R. Molich, “Heuristic Evaluation of User Interfaces”, in CHI'90 Proceedings, ACM Press Publ., 1990, pp. 249–256.Google Scholar
  31. [NC93]
    L. Nigay, J. Coutaz, “A design space for multimodal interfaces: concurrent processing and data fusion”. INTERCHI'93 Proceedings, Amsterdam, May, 1993, pp. 172–178.Google Scholar
  32. [Pol91]
    A. Pollier, “Evaluation d'une interface par des ergonomes: diagnostics et stratégies”, Rapport de recherche INRIA no 1391(1991).Google Scholar
  33. [Roy70]
    W.W. Royce, “Managing the development of large software systems”, Proc. WESTCON, Calif., USA, 1970.Google Scholar
  34. [SC93]
    D. Salber, J. Coutaz, “Applying the Wizard of Oz Technique to the Study of Multimodal Systems”. In Human Computer Interaction, 3rd International Conference EWHCI'93, East/West Human Computer Interaction, Moscow. L. Bass, J. Gornostaaev, C. Unger Eds. Springer Verlag Publ., Lecture notes in Computer Science, Vol. 753, 1993.Google Scholar
  35. [PDS89]
    C. Pierret-Goldreich, I. Delouis & D.L. Scapin, “Un Outil d'Acquisition et de Représentation des Taches Orienté-Objet”, rapport de recherche INRIA no 1063, Programme 8: Communication Homme-Machine, août 1989.Google Scholar
  36. [Sen90]
    B. Senach, “Evaluation ergonomique des interfaces homme-machine: une revue de la littérature”, Rapport de recherche INRIA n° 1180, Programme 8, Communication Homme-Machine, Mars 1990.Google Scholar
  37. [SH91]
    A. Siochi & D. Hix, “A study of Computer-Supported User interface Evaluation Using Maximal Repeating Patern Analysis”, in Proceedings of the CHI'91 Conference, ACM Press, pp. 301–305, 1991.Google Scholar
  38. [WWD91]
    A. Whitefield, F. Wilson & J. Dowell, “A framework for human factors evaluation”, Behaviour and information technology, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 65–79, 1991.Google Scholar
  39. [WS89]
    S. Whittaker and P. Stenton: “User Studies and the Design of Natural Language Systems”, Fourth Conference of the European Chapter of the ACL, proceedings 291–8, 1989.Google Scholar
  40. [YW90]
    R.M. Young & J. Whittington, “Interim Report on the Instruction Langage”, AMODEUS Project Document: Deliverable D5, ESPRIT Basic Research Action 3066, 11th August 1990.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joëlle Coutaz
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Génie InformatiqueIMAGGrenoble Cedex 9France

Personalised recommendations