Automated Diagnosis of Usability Problems Using Statistical Computational Methods

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9550-04-C-0053
Agency Tracking Number: F033-0311
Amount: $523,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: AF03T001
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
12 Gill Street, Suite 1400, Woburn, MA, 01801
DUNS: 967259946
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jared Freeman
 Principal Cognitive Scientist
 (202) 842-1548
Business Contact
 Margaret Clancy
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (781) 496-2424
Research Institution
 University of Massachusetts
 Carol P Sprague
 Office of Contract Admin, 408 Goodell, 140 Hicks W
Amherst, MA, 01003
 (413) 545-0698
 Nonprofit college or university
Poorly designed software and hardware systems are inconvenient at best; at worst, they are deadly. Usability evaluation techniques are designed to detect the potential for disasters and inefficiencies in poorly designed software. However, usability analyses are prone to failure due to conflicting usability frameworks, incomplete usability reports, and inadequate analysis tools. Aptima and the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval (UMass Amherst) have partnered to develop AutoDiag, an Automated Diagnosis System of Usability Problem Reports, and bundle it with a digital video screen capture application and a data logging application. Aptima will integrate these to create UPDATE, a Usability Problem Data Analysis Technology. The system will consist of an interface to elicit better usability reports, a text analysis engine that classifies these reports (or existing usability reports), and an analysis interface for diagnosing usability faults and identifying trends. The proposed effort builds on Phase I progress, which includes: development of a usability taxonomy by practicing usability professionals, application of that taxonomy to usability reports, competitive evaluation of text classifiers, and conceptual design of UPDATE. The proposed team consists of Aptima, a leading human-centered engineering firm, and the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval, the pre-eminent laboratory for text classification research.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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