CASSM and cognitive walkthrough: usability issues with ticket vending machine

I Connell, Ann Blandford, T Green
in Behaviour and Information Technology, Journal article


We focus on the ability of two analytical usability evaluation methods (UEMs), namely CASSM (Concept-based Analysis for Surface and Structural Misfits) and Cognitive Walkthrough, to identify usability issues underlying the use made of two London Underground ticket vending machines. By setting both sets of issues against the observed interactions with the machines, we assess the similarities and differences between the issues depicted by the two methods. In so doing we de-emphasise the mainly quantitative approach which is typical of the comparative UEM literature. However, by accounting for the likely consequences of the issues in behavioural terms, we reduced the proportion of issues which were anticipated but not observed (the false positives), compared with that achieved by other UEM studies. We assess these results in terms of the limitations of problem count as a measure of UEM effectiveness. We also discuss the likely trade-offs between field studies and laboratory testing.