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Concept-based Analysis of Surface and Structural Misfits (CASSM) Tutorial notes

Blandford, A; Connell, I; Green, T; (2004) Concept-based Analysis of Surface and Structural Misfits (CASSM) Tutorial notes. (CASSM working paper ). UCL Interaction Centre: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

Concept-based Analysis of Surface and Structural Misfits (CASSM) in a novel approach to usability analysis that focuses attention on misfits between user and system concepts. We believe that as an approach it has several desirable qualities: o It focuses on concepts rather than tasks or procedures. Consequently, it complements the majority of existing approaches to usability evaluation. In particular, it analyses conceptual misfits between user and system. o By intentionally supporting ‘sketchy’ analysis, CASSM avoids the ‘death by detail’ that plagues many evaluation techniques. CASSM analyses do not have to be complete or consistent to be useful – though of course a thorough analysis is likely to have these properties. Also, CASSM analyses are often quite succinct, compared to (for example) a Cognitive Walkthrough (Wharton et al, 1994), Heuristic Evaluation (Nielsen, 1994) or GOMS analysis (John & Kieras, 1996). o As a notation, it provides a ‘bridge’ between the core ideas underpinning work on mental models and design issues, and may thus make prior work on mental models more readily accessible to design practice. [This should be regarded as a hypothesis that has not yet been tested.] o The CASSM notation provides a relatively formal definition of many of Green’s Cognitive Dimensions (see, for example, Green, 1989; Green & Petre, 1996; Blackwell & Green 2003). In this way, it further supports assessment of a system in terms of CDs. This is discussed in detail towards the end of this document. Although the name (CASSM: Concept-based Analysis of Surface and Structural Misfits) emphasises the importance of misfits, you should be aware that there are other kinds of user–system misfits that are outside the scope of CASSM; for example, inconsistencies in procedures for similar tasks would be picked up by other techniques but are not directly addressed within CASSM. CASSM focuses on conceptual structures.

Type:Working / discussion paper
Title:Concept-based Analysis of Surface and Structural Misfits (CASSM) Tutorial notes
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version:http://www.uclic.ucl.ac.uk/annb/CASSM/CASSMdownloads.html
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Computer Science

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