Users' design feedback in usability evaluation: A literature review.
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionHuman-centric Computing and Information Sciences. 2017, 7 . 10.1186/s13673-017-0100-y
As part of usability evaluation, users may be invited to offer their reflections on the system being evaluated. Such reflections may concern the system’s suitability for its context of use, usability problem predictions, and design suggestions. We term the data resulting from such reflections users’ design feedback. Gathering users’ design feedback as part of usability evaluation may be seen as controversial, and the current knowledge on users’ design feedback is fragmented. To mitigate this, we have conducted a literature review. The review provides an overview of the benefits and limitations of users’ design feedback in usability evaluations. Following an extensive search process, 31 research papers were identified as relevant and analysed. Users’ design feedback is gathered for a number of distinct purposes: to support budget approaches to usability testing, to expand on interaction data from usability testing, to provide insight into usability problems in users’ everyday context, and to benefit from users’ knowledge and creativity. Evaluation findings based on users’ design feedback can be qualitatively different from, and hence complement, findings based on other types of evaluation data. Furthermore, findings based on users’ design feedback can hold acceptable validity, though the thoroughness of such findings may be questioned. Finally, findings from users’ design feedback may have substantial impact in the downstream development process. Four practical implications are highlighted, and three directions for future research are suggested