Evaluate existing system


Evaluation of an earlier version or competitor system to identify usability problems and to obtain baseline measures of usability.


  • Identifies problems to be avoided in the design of the new system.
  • Provides measures of effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction which can be used as a baseline for the new system.


Select the most important tasks and user groups to be tested (based on the context of use study). If possible, evaluate the system using the method for usability testing.


If resources are limited, use a simplified evaluation process such as that used to evaluate a prototype.


  • Produce a list of usability problems, categorised by importance (use post-it-notes to sort the problems), and an overview of the types of problems encountered.
  • Arrange a meeting with the project manager and developer to discuss how important it is to avoid each problem in the new system.
  • If measures have been taken, they can be used as a baseline for the new system, and will enable the usability requirements to be refined.

Next steps

Use mock ups and paper prototypes to clarify the requirements for the new system.

Case studies

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