Woolrych, A., Hornbaek, K., Froekjaer, E., and Cockton, G. (2011). Ingredients and meals rather than recipes: A proposal for research that does not treat usability evaluation methods as indivisible wholes. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, Vol. 27, No. 10, pp. 940-970.

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DOI= 10.1080/10447318.2011.555314

Woolrych et al. nicely analyse the state of research and comparisons on usability evaluation methods. Too often, these methods are considered as precisely presented step-by-step procedures that almost automatically produce a list of usability problems regardless of the context of use, evaluators, test participants (if ones), design and test goals or many factors that affect to the evaluations in practical work, and to some extent, also to experimental settings.

Woolrych et al. make analogies between recipes and usability evaluation methods, ingredients and factors or resources affecting to the implementation of the method, and meals and usability work as a whole for example in organizational settings. Instead of keep on focusing on the methods, Woolrych et al. recommend to go deeper into the ingredients, and also broaden the scope to levels above the methods to the development and business context. The change in focus should, in their opinion, reflect both to the research and the way usability evaluation is taught to students.

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