UI/UX: Guideline-Based Expert Walkthrough (GBEW)

January 21, 2017In Collective3 Minutes

Introducing the “Guideline-Based Expert Walkthrough (GBEW): A Comprehensive Approach to Evaluating Accessibility, Usability and Inclusion.

The Guideline-Based Expert Walkthrough (GBEW) is a novel method designed to enhance the process of identifying and addressing accessibility, usability and inclusion issues in user interfaces. This approach combines the strengths of expert walkthroughs and established web guidelines to provide a comprehensive, structured evaluation framework.

Here’s an overview of the GBEW method:

  1. Assemble a multidisciplinary team: Form a team of experts with diverse backgrounds in UX design, accessibility, usability, and domain-specific knowledge. This diversity enables the team to evaluate user interfaces from various perspectives and identify a wide range of issues.
  2. Develop a custom guideline set: Combine established web guidelines, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and domain-specific best practices, to create a tailored set of guidelines that cater to your product’s unique requirements.
  3. Train the evaluators: Ensure that all team members understand the custom guideline set and are familiar with the evaluation process. Provide examples and clarify any ambiguities in the guidelines to ensure consistency across evaluators.
  4. Conduct independent walkthroughs: Each evaluator independently reviews the user interface, assessing it against the custom guideline set. They perform task-based walkthroughs, simulating the actions of different user personas to consider various user needs and contexts.
  5. Document findings: Evaluators should record each issue they identify, noting the violated guideline, the severity of the problem, and any recommendations for improvement. This documentation enables clear communication of findings to stakeholders, designers, and developers.
  6. Consolidate and prioritize issues: After completing independent walkthroughs, the team should meet to discuss and consolidate their findings. This process encourages the exchange of perspectives and ensures a comprehensive understanding of the identified issues. Prioritize issues based on their impact on users, the potential return on investment for addressing them, and the overall product strategy.
  7. Develop an action plan: Create a detailed action plan that outlines the steps and resources required to address the prioritized issues. This plan should include timelines, resource allocations, and key milestones to ensure effective implementation of the necessary improvements.
  8. Monitor progress and iterate: Regularly review the implementation of the action plan and track progress towards addressing the identified issues. Evaluate the effectiveness of the improvements and continue refining the user interface as needed.

The Guideline-Based Expert Walkthrough (GBEW) method provides a robust, structured framework for evaluating user interfaces, combining the expertise of a multidisciplinary team with a tailored set of guidelines to ensure comprehensive, actionable insights. This approach empowers organizations to create more accessible and usable products that cater to diverse user needs and preferences.