Pluralistic Walkthrough


Applicable stage(s): design.
Personnel needed for the evaluation:
Usability experts: 1
Software developers: 1
Users: 2
Usability issues covered:
Can be conducted remotely: No Can obtain quantitative data: No


At the design stage, when paper prototype is available, a group of users, developers, and huaman factors engineers meet together to step through a set of tasks, discussing and evaluating the usability of a system. Group walkthroughs have the advantage of providing a diverse range of skills and perspectives to bear on usability problems. As with any inspection, the more people looking for problems, the higher the probablility of finding problems. Also, the interaction between the team during the walkthrough helps to resolve usability issues faster.

Form the Walkthrough Team

Three types of participants are included in the walkthrough: representative users, product developers, and human factor engineers. One coordinator is needed and the role is usually played by a human factors engineer. Participants, except the coordinator, are all asked to assume the role of the user during the walkthrough.


Paper prototype of the interface are to be used for the walkthrough. Hard-copy panels of screens, dialog boxes, menus, etc. will be presented in the same order in which they would appear online for each task.

Walkthrough the Tasks

For each step,

  1. R. Bias "The Pluralistic Usability Walkthrough: Coordinated Empathies:, in J. Nielsen & R. Mack "Usability Inspection Methods", Chapter 3, pp.63-76, John Wiley, 1994.