Evaluating usability problems and use errors in ergonomic products: comparing analytical methods and usability test
Journal article, 2017

In product design, it is important to consider presumptive usability problems and use errors. A number of evaluation methods are available, analytical as well as empirical. This study aimed to investigate how well the results from the two analytical methods, enhanced cognitive walkthrough (ECW) and predictive use error analysis (PUEA), match the results of a usability test. A vacuum cleaner and an office chair were used in the evaluations. The ECW predicted 90% of the usability problems and the PUEA predicted 58% of the use errors that were identified in the usability test. For the ECW, the difference is that the method only investigates the correct way to perform a task, whereas for the PUEA the difference depends on the chosen user as well as the evaluator's creativity in making and predicting errors. To conclude, these methods are valuable tools in early phases of the product development process.

use error

usability problem

usability test

usability evaluation

analytical method


Lars-Ola Bligård

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Design and Human Factors

Anna-Lisa Osvalder

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Design and Human Factors

International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics

2045-7804 (ISSN) 2045-7812 (eISSN)

Vol. 5 1 1-21

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Human Computer Interaction

Areas of Advance




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