Feature Inspection


Applicable stages: code, test, and deployment.
Personnel needed for the evaluation:
Usability experts: 1
Software developers: 0
Users: 0
Usability issues covered:
Can be conducted remotely:Yes Can obtain quantitative data:No


This inspeciton technique focuses on the feature set of a product. The inspectors are usually given use cases with the end result to be obtained from the use of the product. Each feature is analyzed for its availability, understandability, and other aspects of usability. For example, a common user scenario for the use of a word processor is to produce a letter. The features that would be used include entering text, formatting text, spell-checking, saving the text to a file, and printing the letter. Each set of features used to produce the required output (a letter) is analyzed for its availability, understandability, and general usefulness.
List the features in the product in the sequences they would be used to perform various tasks. Look at the accessibility of each feature in the context of the tasks. Can the user get to each feature without much trouble? Are the features well named and easily recognized?

One time-tested way to perform feature inspection is to have the documentation staff attempt to document each user scenario as procedures. Features that are hard to describe in the documentation are probably hard to find for the user in the first place.


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