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

  • Silvia Gabrielli
  • Anthony Jameson
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5727)

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.

References

  1. 1.
    Ackerman, M.S., Cranor, L.F., Reagle, J.: Privacy in e-commerce: Examining user scenarios and privacy preferences. In: ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce, pp. 1–8 (1999)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Furnell, S.M.: Making security usable: Are things improving? Computers & Security 26(6), 434–443 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Furnell, S.M., Jusoh, A., Katsabas, D.: The challenges of understanding and using security: A survey of end-users. Computers & Security 25(1), 27–35 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jameson, A.: Adaptive interfaces and agents. In: Sears, A., Jacko, J.A. (eds.) The human-computer interaction handbook: Fundamentals, evolving technologies and emerging applications, 2nd edn., pp. 433–458. Erlbaum, Mahwah (2008)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Page, S.R., Johnsgard, T.J., Albert, U., Allen, C.D.: User customization of a word processor. In: Proceedings of CHI 1996, pp. 340–346 (1996)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sears, A.: Heuristic walkthroughs: Finding the problems without the noise. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 9(3), 213–234 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Trewin, S.: Configuration agents, control and privacy. In: Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Universal Usability, Arlington, VA, pp. 9–16 (2000)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Gabrielli
    • 1
  • Anthony Jameson
    • 1
  1. 1.FBK-irstTrentoItaly

Personalised recommendations