Simulation of Cognitive Processes for Automated Usability Testing


This diploma thesis deals with the simulation of cognitive processes of a simulated user who is embedded into a workbench for semi-automated usability evaluation. The behavior of the simulated user helps system engineers uncovering several usability problems of their modeled computer interfaces. A straight approach is impeded by the low output of the still young research fields "cognitive science" and "usability", by missing definitions and by frequently ongoing discussions, especially in the research field psychology. Thus, new approaches are developed by the author derived from existing technologies or the todays understanding of human brain functionality. Contrary to existing cognitive models, the processes are rather focused on the utilization for uncovering usability problems of interfaces than on solving common problems in cognitive science. Therefore, cognitive science and usability are outlined in the beginning of this thesis. Subsequently, requirements for the processes are defined and their implementation explained. In the end of this thesis, several examples are evaluated by the workbench for an explanation, how the developed cognitive processes support a better usability evaluation.

Mathias Runge
Diploma Thesis