Publication Date

October 2007

Document Type



Usability inspection methods, such as heuristic evaluation, the cognitive walkthrough, formal usability inspections, and the pluralistic usability walkthrough, were introduced fifteen years ago. Since then, these methods, analyses of their comparative effectiveness, and their use have evolved in different ways. In this paper, we track the fortunes of the methods and analyses, looking at which led to use and to further research, and which led to relative methodological dead ends. Heuristic evaluation and the cognitive walkthrough appear to be the most actively used and researched techniques. The pluralistic walkthrough remains a recognized technique, although not the subject of significant further study. Formal usability inspections appear to have been incorporated into other techniques or largely abandoned in practice. We conclude with lessons for practitioners and suggestions for future research.