Socio-instrumental Aspects in Usability Heuristic Studies: Systematic Review

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för informatik och media

Abstract: Nowadays, usability mainly perceived as a basis of the instrumental evaluation of an information system (IS) capability. Notably, rule-of-thumb usability heuristic evaluation (HE) is widely known and used as a cost-efficient and effective inspection-based usability evaluation. However, it is evident in prior research that there is communicative action captured when users interact with a system. Accordingly, socio-instrumental (SI) perspective perceives a particular event of the user’s interaction toward system (social action) is composed of both instrumental aspect and social aspect. Our study aims to explain the completeness of recent HE studies, and also to describe underlying connections between inspection-based usability evaluation and socio-instrumental aspects. We conducted a qualitative systematic review throughout thirteen qualified documents we appraised from filtering out 89 documents which consist of research articles within the last five years and existing professional reports. In a qualitative manner, our study result has identified the qualified documents present a positive degree of completeness. We have also analyzed various usability problems that are connected with specific heuristics and SI aspects. It is evident in this study that the SI perspective has contributed to revealing the communicative rationale behind the user’s social action toward the system. In addition, we, therefore, suggest improvement suggestions for further works to address the shortcomings in the present study. 

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