Publication: A Comparison of Usage Evaluation and Inspection Methods for Assessing Groupware Usability

Evaluating groupware usability can be a difficult problem. Many researchers believe that groupware can only be evaluated by studying real collaborators in their real contexts, a process which tends to be expensive and timeconsuming. Others believe that it is more practical to evaluate groupware through usability inspection methods. Deciding between these two approaches is difficult, because it is unclear how they compare in a real evaluation situation. To address this problem, we carried out a dual evaluation of a groupware system, with one evaluation applying userbased techniques, and the other using inspection methods. We compared the results from the two evaluations and conclude that although user-based techniques do provide some information that cannot be found through other means, inspection techniques are an inexpensive and effective way of finding usability problems in groupware.

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Participants

Michelle Steves Emile Morse
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Saul Greenberg
University of Calgary

Projects

Evaluating Groupware Usability
Many organizations, particularly in the design and manufacturing sectors, are becoming increasingly distributed.

Citation

Steves, M., Morse, E., Gutwin, C., Greenberg, S. 2001. A Comparison of Usage Evaluation and Inspection Methods for Assessing Groupware Usability. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Supporting Group Work, 125-134.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Supporting Group ,
author= {Michelle Steves and Emile Morse and Carl Gutwin and Saul Greenberg},
title= {A Comparison of Usage Evaluation and Inspection Methods for Assessing Groupware Usability},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Supporting Group Work},
year= {2001},
pages= {125-134}
}