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Adapting the Cognitive Walkthrough Method
Kenneth Allendoerfer, Serge Aluker, Gulshan Panjwani, Jason Proctor, David Sturtz, Mirjana Vukovic, and Chaomei Chen
College of Information Science and Technology - Drexel University
Project Description:
The usability of knowledge domain visualization (KDViz) tools can be assessed at several levels. Cognitive Walkthrough (CW) is a well-known usability inspection method that focuses on how easily users can learn software through exploration. Typical applications of CW follow structured tasks where user goals and action sequences that lead to achievement of the goals are welldefined. KDViz and other information visualization tools, however, are typically designed for users to explore data and user goals and actions are less well understood.

In this paper, presented at the 2005 IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization,the authors describe how the traditional CW method may be adapted for assessing the usability of these systems. They applied the adapted version of CW to CiteSpace, a KDViz tool that uses bibliometric analyses to create visualizations of scientific literatures. They described usability issues identified by the adapted CW and discussed how CiteSpace supported the completion of tasks, such as identifying research fronts, and the achievement of goals.

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