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The cognitive walkthrough is a usability evaluation method in which one or more evaluators work through a series of tasks and ask a set of questions from the perspective of the user. The focus of the cognitive walkthrough is on understanding the system’s learnability for new or infrequent users.

  • This is a usability inspection method that evaluates a system’s anticipated ease-of-use without instruction, coaching, or training.
  • Each step of the interaction with the system can be assessed as a step that either moves the individual closer to or further from their goal.
  • Evaluators ask four questions for each step in the sequence:
    • Will users want to produce whatever effect the action has?
    • Will users see the control (button, menu, label, etc.) for the action?
    • Will users recognize that the control will produce the effect that they want?
    • Will users understand feedback they get, so they can confidently continue on to the next action?
  • It should be used with usability testing to uncover different classes of design issues and problems.

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