Obstacles to Option Setting: Initial Results with a Heuristic Walkthrough Method

Abstract

This short paper is the first step in a line of research that aims to deepen understanding of the difficulties that users often have with option setting interfaces: those parts of a system that allow the user to set parameters that influence the system’s behavior and appearance. On the basis of a theoretical distinction of three things that users may fail to understand about a given option, we introduce a simple variant of the heuristic walkthrough method that helps evaluators to uncover likely obstacles. We give a quantitative and qualitative overview of the obstacles found through the application of this heuristic walkthrough to parts of four popular applications.

The research described in this paper was conducted in the targeted research unit Prevolution (code PsychMM), which is funded by the Autonomous Province of Trento.