Heuristic Evaluations of Bioinformatics Tools: A Development Case

  • Barbara Mirel
  • Zach Wright
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5610)


Heuristic evaluations are an efficient low cost method for identifying usability problems in a biomedical research tool. Combining the results of these evaluations with findings from user models based on biomedical scientists’ research methods guided and prioritized the design and development process of these tools and resulted in improved usability. Incorporating heuristic evaluations and user models into the larger organizational practice led to increased awareness of usability across disciplines.


Usability heuristic evaluation biomedical research organizational learning user models 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Argyris, C., Schön, D.: Organizational learning II: Theory, method and practice. Addison Wesley, Reading (1996)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chattratichart, J., Lindgaard, G.: A comparative evaluation of heuristic-based usability inspection methods. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2008 Conference, pp. 2213–2220. ACM Press, New York (2008)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cockton, G., Woolrych, A.: Understanding inspection methods: lessons from an assessment of heuristic evaluation. In: Blandford, A., Vanderdonckt, J. (eds.) People & Computers XV, pp. 171–192. Springer, Berlin (2001)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Frokjaer, E., Hornbaek, K.: Metaphors of human thinking for usability inspection and design. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 14, 1–33 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gerhardt-Powals, J.: Cognitive engineering principles for enhancing human-computer performance. International Journal of Human-Computer Interactions 8, 189–211 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hartson, H., Anndre, T.S., Williges, R.: Criteria for evaluating usability evaluation methods. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 13, 373–410 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hollinger, M.: A process for incorporationg heuristic evaluation into a software release. In: Proceedings of AIGA 2005 Conference, pp. 2–17. ACM Press, New York (2005)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Law, E.L.-C., Hvannberg, E.T.: Analysis of strategies for improving and estimating the effectiveness of heuristic evaluation. In: Proceedings of ACM NordiCHI 2004, pp. 241–250. ACM Press, New York (2004)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mirel, B.: Supporting cognition in systems biology analysis: Findings on users processes and design implications. Journal of Biomedical Discovery and Collaboration (forthcoming)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Nielsen, J.: Heuristic evaluation. In: Nielsen, J., Mack, R.I. (eds.) Usablity Inspection methods, John Wiley, Chichester (1994)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Nielsen, J.: Enhancing the explanatory power of usability heuristics. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 1994 Conference, pp. 152–158. ACM Press, New York (1994)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Schmettow, M., Vietze, W.: Introducing item response theory for measuring usability processes. In: Proceedings of CHI 2008, pp. 893–902. ACM Press, New York (2008)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Mirel
    • 1
  • Zach Wright
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MichiganUSA

Personalised recommendations