Effect of user sessions on the heuristic usability method

Jehad Alqurni, Roobaea Al Roobaea, Mohammed Alqahtani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
86 Downloads (Pure)


Heuristic evaluation (HE) is a widely used method for assessing software systems. Several studies have sought to improve the effectiveness of HE by developing its heuristics and procedures. However, few studies have involved the end-user, and to the best of the authors' knowledge, no HE studies involving end-users with non-expert evaluators have been reported. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the impact of end-users on the results obtained by a non-expert evaluator within the HE process, and through that, to explore the number of usability problems and their severity. This article proposes introducing two sessions within the HE process: a user exploration session (UES-HE) and a user review session (URS-HE). The outcomes are compared with two solid benchmarks in the usability-engineering field: the traditional HE and the usability testing (UT) methods. The findings show that the end-user has a significant impact on non-expert evaluator results in both sessions. In the UES-HE method, the results outperformed all usability evaluation methods (UEMs) regarding the usability problems identified, and it tended to identify more major, minor, and cosmetic problems than other methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-81
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Open Source Software and Processes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Heuristic Evaluation
  • Inspection Usability
  • Non-Expert Evaluator
  • Usability
  • Usability Testing
  • User Session

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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