QWE2000 Session 7I

Mr. Fernando T. Itakura, Ms. Silvia R. Verfilio [Brazil]
(Crosskeys Systems Corporation)

"Automatic Support For Usability Evaluation Of A Web Application"

Full Technical Paper in QWE2000 CD-ROM

Key Points

Presentation Abstract

Interest in World Wide Web in connection with human-computer interaction (HCI) has increased considerably over the last few years. Today there is a consense that the quality of the global system is linked with the quality of his interface. So, the development of quality interative systems demand HCI specific techniques. A key concept in HCI field is usability, which is concerned with making systems efficient, effective and easy to use. Usability evaluations are important to guarantee the global quality of a Web application. There are several methods which have proved to be useful in usability evaluation of traditional application. However, the environment in which web aplications are developed and tested are not the same of tradicitional aplications. Web applications can not be treated in the same way as a traditional application because they have some peculiar characteristics. One of them is that the development of a Web application is faster. In this sense, tools which support an automatic usability evaluation has gained importance.

TOWABE, Tool for Web Application usaBility Evaluation, is a research tool with the primary goal of automating and supporting Web usality evaluations. TOWABE is based on three well known techniques: questionnaire, card sorting and expert inspection. The tool has three modules: TCheck, TQuest and TCat. After a session using the tool, reports can be automatically generated and some statistical models are obtained from the collected data. This data can be used to compare results from differents evaluation methods. TOWABE also offers a glossary and personalization mechanisms.

About the Speaker

Fernando Takashi Itakura received his BS in Computer Science from UEL, Brazil in 1999 and is currently a masther student at Federal University of Paraná. He is member of CE-21: 101.08 - SC21:10 of ABNT. Since February he has been teaching at UNIBEM. His research interests includes software quality, usability, software testing techniques and Internet.

Silvia Regina Vergilio received the the MS (1991) and DS (1997) degrees from University of Campinas, UNICAMP, Brazil. She is currently at the Computer Science Department at the Federal University of Parana, where she has been a faculty member since 1993. Her research interests are in the areas of Software Engineering: Program Testing, Softare Validation and Verification and Software Development Environments.