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Inspection methods

There are two other common methods for understanding product usability besides usability testing with users.  Both of these methods are called “inspection methods” rather than usability testing. 

Heuristic evaluation

Expert evaluator(s), instead of users, inspect the product against a set of heuristic rules or principles. Click here for one of the most commonly used heuristic principles.

Cognitive walkthroughs

Expert evaluator(s), instead of users, evaluate the product by performing representative tasks that users would do, based on user profiles.

Which method to use?

Remember some testing is better than no testing.  However, expert evaluator(s) may point out features that are not problematic with real users. 

Page last updated: Sep 21 2011
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