Automated Usability Testing Framework

Au, F.T.W., Baker, S., Warren, I. and Dobbie, G.

    Handheld device applications with poor usability can reduce the productivity of users and incur costs for businesses, thus usability testing should play a vital role in application development. Conventional usability testing methodologies, such as formal user testing, can be expensive, time consuming and labour intensive; less resource-demanding alternatives can yield unreliable results. Automating aspects of usability testing would improve its efficiency and make it more practical to perform throughout development. An automated usability testing tool should capture as input the properties of an application's graphical user interface, the sequence of user actions as they use the application to achieve particular tasks, their behaviour and comments, as well as a description of these tasks. The tool should evaluate both the static and dynamic properties of the interface, examine navigational burden and suggest modifications or templates that would improve usability. Results should be quick and easy to interpret, and be understandable by personnel other than specialised testers. Several existing tools that are typical of the tools available today meet some but not all of these requirements. In this paper we describe the design of the HUIA testing framework, in which we have to meet as many of these requirements as possible.
Cite as: Au, F.T.W., Baker, S., Warren, I. and Dobbie, G. (2008). Automated Usability Testing Framework. In Proc. Ninth Australasian User Interface Conference (AUIC 2008), Wollongong, NSW, Australia. CRPIT, 76. Plimmer, B. and Weber, G., Eds. ACS. 55-64.
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