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The development of a theoretical framework and design tool for process usability assessment

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The purpose of usability engineering is to facilitate the deployment of new products by decreasing development costs and improving the quality of systems. This paper will discuss the development and delivery of a unique, theoretically based software tool that provides engineers and designers with easy access to the most recent advances in human-machine interface design. This research combines several theoretical views of the interaction process into a hybrid model. Based on this model, a software tool was produced that allows engineers to model the human interaction process within their design. The system then provides feedback on the interaction process through items such as: the amount of mental effort required by a user, the degree to which the system conforms to human capabilities, the expected time to complete the interaction, where potential human error may occur, as well as potential misunderstandings or points of confusion to the users. The designer may then use this information to improve the design of the system. Validation of this technique indicates that the hybrid model produces accurate predictions of usability attributes and that the technique transfers from the laboratory to the real world.
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Keywords: Usability; human-computer interaction design; predictive performance models

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Pennsylvania State University, 310 Leonhard Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA 2: IBM Corporation, Highway 52 and NW 37 Street, Rochester, MN 55901, USA 3: Wright State University, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy, 207 Russ Engineering Center, Dayton, OH 45435, USA 4: Louisiana State University, 3128 CEBA, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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