Sunday, October 25, 2009

SWUI'09 workshop - raw notes 3

Max Wilson: Sii (search interface inspector) – a usability evaluation method. Especially designed for search interfaces. Part of Max's recently defended PhD thesis. Inspections vs. user studies: inspections are fast, lower cost and give valid results. IBM improved search in 1999: sales up 400 percent, support requests 84 percent, but only took 10 weeks and cost $1 million. Sii aims to evaluate ideas early in the design process. 3 steps: choose designs to evaluate, identify th tools/features, count the moves to perform the tactics. Build a list of features across all evaluated systems. For each feature, count moves for 32 search tactics. Look at features across evaluated systems, or view feature provision per tool, or compare to standard user types ({scan,search} x {specify,recognize} x {data,metadata} x {learn,find}). Sii tool allows 'what-if' explorations.

Application of method to Sii. Tasks retrieving a known document, understand a specific event. Table view comes out lower than map and calendar views, since those views have a natural affordance for zooming in to particular regions. Overall, learning task was better supported than document retrieval task.

See mspace.fm/sii

Question: doesn't this encourage just adding more functionality? Ans: complementary metric based on cogitive load theory to measure cost/benefit of new features.

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