All August 2011: Volume 6, Issue 4 articles

Introduction to Volume 6, Issue 4

Issue 4 is the final one for Volume 6 of the journal. I expect that Dennis Wixon’s invited editorial will generate lively reaction. Dennis argues that the usability profession has largely ignored one of the key components of usability engineering: establishing quantitative usability goals early in product development. Those goals can enhance scenarios and use […] [Read More]

The Unfulfilled Promise of Usability Engineering

Introduction Usability practitioners have always shared at least one common goal—create the best possible product or tool with the time and resources provided. How to most effectively achieve that goal has been and will continue to be an essential question for us. Today there are a number of promising frameworks and effective heuristics. There is […] [Read More]

Adapting Web 1.0 Evaluation Techniques for E-Government in Second Life

Abstract As Web technology evolves, information organizations strive to benefit from the latest developments. Many academic and government organizations develop applications in Second Life, an online virtual world that allows users to interact with one another and the virtual environment via graphical personas, to support education and information outreach. This is accompanied by growing interest […] [Read More]

Making Energy Savings Easier: Usability Metrics for Thermostats

Abstract U.S. residential thermostats control approximately 9% of the nation’s energy use. Many building codes now require programmable thermostats (PTs) because of their assumed energy savings. However, several recent field studies have shown no significant savings or even higher energy use in households using PTs compared to those using non-PTs. These studies point to usability […] [Read More]

When Left Might Not Be Right

Abstract This paper describes an experiment that was carried out on the positioning of menus (or navigational panels) on a Web site. A student cohort developed a Web site that sold Christmas trees, pots, and decorations. Two versions of the same Web site were produced—one with menus on the left and the other with menus […] [Read More]