Visual walkthrough as a tool for utility assessment in a usability test

This paper presents a compact procedure for classifying the importance of elements in a user interface based on the visual walkthrough method. This method was used during a usability evaluation of an information service for healthcare professionals. Paper printouts were given to users who were asked to highlight the parts of the system they consider most important for them. This method proved to be a quick and useful way to understand which parts of complex user interfaces are the most important for users. In addition, heat maps were constructed based on these answers and they proved to be an easy way to visualise the results both for the evaluators and the different stakeholders. These heat maps could be formed right after the last test session, on the spot of the actual testing in the field.

This paper is on a study project partially contributed by Adusso's CEO Janne Pitkänen and made available here as an introduction to visual walkthrough method (not as an actual reference of Adusso Ltd.) The study project was conducted for a client company at Aalto University.