|In part due to the shortcomings of
available software tools, much of our work and the work of our clients is
done with paper-based models. Especially in large, complicated
projects, we have used pre-printed forms or templates to capture
information in a standard format. This helps us insure completeness and
facilitates later entry of data into a database or spreadsheet.
These are intended for use in collaborative usability inspections to record usability defects. They are designed for rapid manual recording of defects. Pre-defined categories make it easier to capture basic information with a few tick marks or circles. They do take some getting used to, but once they become familiar, session scribes find they can work much more quickly and accurately.
These paper-based forms provide a consistent structure for organizing the defining contents of user roles and task cases (essential use cases). They are designed to be comprehensive and to serve as check lists, ensuring that modelers consider the full gamut of issues. On the other hand, they are intended neither for use with obediently obsessive compulsiveness nor as an excuse to generate paper. (Some methodologists, completely misunderstanding the role of such templates, have misrepresented this approach as favoring big and complicated use cases. Nothing could be further from the truth of essential modeling. We have always recommending using those parts of forms that are useful and informative and skipping whatever is not.)
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