Usability heuristics for the set-top box and TV interfaces

Pekpazar A., Altın Gümüşsoy Ç., Ekmen B., Bayraktaroğlu A. E.



Set-top box (STB) is a special interface device that is connected to a TV and allows digital content to be received, decoded, and displayed on the TV. The new features added to STB&TVs increase the complexity of the systems and lead to usability problems. This study proposes a set of usability heuristics and their corresponding criteria specific to STB&TV interfaces that usability experts may use during the design and evaluation process. In this study, a total of 493 usability problems were collected from three sources: problems identified by software developers during the design and development phase, problems identified by three experts with cognitive walkthrough approach, and problems collected from customer complaints made to the service or call center. Then, each heuristics' checklist item was rated by the experts for how well they explain the usability problems, and the severity levels of the usability problems were determined. In the next step, through correspondence and cluster analyses, heuristics and the checklists were listed in descending order of severity. Furthermore, the proposed heuristic list was validated with three methods-user testing, expert judgment, and heuristic evaluation. As a result of this study, 16 usability heuristics were identified. Five of these heuristics-Visibility of system status (H4), Pleasurable and respectful interaction with the user (H13), Privacy (H14), Parental control (H15), and Easy access (H16) are related to catastrophic usability problems.