Expanding Usability Testing to Evaluate Complex Systems

Peer-reviewed Article

pp. 102-111Download full article (PDF)

Abstract

This essay discusses ways that usability professionals can expand usability testing to evaluate complex systems, such as intelligence gathering and medical decision-making, that do not lend themselves to more traditional laboratory-based usability testing. In the essay, Redish explains what complex systems are, why they don’t lend themselves to traditional usability test methodologies, and what other techniques are available for gathering and analyzing the data. The essay also discusses the importance of involving domain experts in the design of the test to ensure that both the components and the system as a whole are being adequately tested.