The use of a heuristic process to evaluate an online information retrieval interface.

S M Zabed Ahmed, Cliff McKnight, Charles Oppenhein

Abstract


This paper presents the results of a heuristic
evaluation with the Web of Science interface. Three
human factors experts carried out their independent
evaluation. The findings were then analysed and
combined to discuss them with expert members to
reach a consensus on usability issues identified. The
heuristic evaluation helped to identify a number of
both positive and negative aspects in the Web of
Science interface. The key strength of the then current
interface was its consistency in terms of conventions
used, screen layouts, minimum use of colours, and use
of graphics and icons.The main weakness lay in its
functionality, i.e., searching, navigation, online help, etc.
The results show the effectiveness of a heuristlc
approach to evaluating user interfaces to online
information retrieval systems.

Keywords


heuristic evaluation; Web of Science; usuability issues; user interfaces; online retrieval systems

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