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Usability is one of the most important factors that determine the quality of Web applications. Many Usability Inspection Methods (UIMs) are gaining popularity as an effective alternative for addressing Web usability issues. However, most of these UIMs still evaluate artifacts in the last stages of the development process and therefore, the cost of correcting the encountered usability problems is high. This paper presents the Web Design Usability Evaluation (Web DUE) technique that aims to allow the evaluation of low-fidelity prototypes (or mockups) during the design of the application. The Web DUE's main original feature is that it guides the inspection process through Web page zones which are pieces of Web pages. For each Web page zone, we crafted a set of usability verification items that can aid inspectors in finding usability problems. We have also carried out an empirical study to verify the feasibility of the technique. The analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data provides information on the Web DUE's degree of effectiveness and efficiency, and offers insight on what can be modified to enhance its results.
Date of Conference: 23-28 Sept. 2012