This dissertation was submitted for the Degree
of Bachelor of Philosophy in the
University of Liverpool
fulfilment of the Modular Program
This dissertation evaluates the role usability plays in the
development and design of interactive systems. It analyses various
definitions of usability and assesses the way in which the application
of design principles, such as feedback & perception, can
aid a user's ability to interact with a system. The employment
of usability assessment and evaluation methodology is discussed
at both theoretical and practical levels. The impact that user
participation in systems design and implementation can have
on usability is considered, and a case study of the Reuters
Customer Centred Design Process is presented.
Firstly, I wish to give my thanks to George
Herterich, my research tutor, who has given me help and advice,
not only during the dissertation stage of my degree but also
during one of my taught modules. Throughout my course he has
always been available, often at short notice, to give guidance
and constructive comment in response to my ideas which, in turn,
has enabled me to keep on target and this is much appreciated.
I wish to thank Lisa Wrigley, my partner in
life who has had to suffer my studies to the point of becoming
an IT widow, for the support and understanding she has shown
me without which I wouldn't have finishe my degree. Cheers for
the regular supply of coffee that has seen me through those
cold winter nights and cool beer during the summers. Many thanks
for keeping me sane and ensuring that I kept up the enthusiasm
to complete the job!
I also wish to thank HSE for supporting my work
over the last 3 years.
Last, but not least, I thank Sandy Schmid of
the Reuters Usability Group who gave me, not only her time,
but an excellent understanding of their usability methodology
allowing my work to reflect the practicalities of usability
design in a working environment.