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A cognitive walkthrough is a method used to evaluate user interfaces. It works best for those who would like to evaluate UIs as a team instead of with a single evaluator. You do not need a working prototype to use this method, and it can be used very early in the development stage.
The first thing a group must do is define inputs, which are the user description, task description, and the actual prototype. The group selects a number of representative tasks that they will use to "walk-through" and evaluate usability. Each of these tasks is broken down further into more steps with 4 questions that must be asked for each:
1. Will the user be trying to achieve the right effect?
2. Will the user know that the correct action is available?
3. Will the user know that the correct action will achieve the desired effect?
4. Will the user interpret the system's response to the chosen action correctly?
The group will answer these questions for each task. As they answer each question, they will also have to create a believability story explaining why a user would choose the correct action to take to accomplish the tasks. If a believability story cannot be created about the particular task, then the group must come up with a scenario in which the usability fails for that task. Also, the team must come up with suggestions as to how the other group could fix or improve their User Interface. A recorder from the group must be assigned that will write down all the issues that come up with the UI. They will also document a description of each problem and rank it in severity.
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