Cognitive science involves studies on information systems, which obviously include humans, by examining what we can do (i.e. performances), what we cannot do (i.e. limits), what we are good or bad at (i.e. specific characteristics), and the extent to which we can change. As cognitive science is interdisciplinary by its nature and the ranges of interests and issues vary, setting several principles would be vital i.e. experimental attitude, complexity appreciation, appropriate reductionism, evolutional perspective, and understanding dynamically changing systems.AAR1 (Professor Katsumi Watanabe, 2013).
In his research work Prof. Katsumi illustrated how human’s minds and brains may be approached
scientifically, with a focus on human visual system and its cognitive characteristics, the cognitive science perspective can be applied to many issues of human perception, cognition, attention, action, and decision making which can increase or decrease skill acquisition.
Identification of user’s skill acquisition level is critical to measure when it comes to software applications. Cognitive science plays a vital role in this area which focuses on the mental approaches a user chooses to complete certain actions within software application (Johnson, 2016). The Cognitive science focuses on understanding the impact of the design on the user, that is, on what the user is trying to accomplish at each screen and what he might be thinking.
In Cognitive Science there is a method for theory based User Interface (UI) evaluation of a system which is known as Cognitive Walkthrough. The Cognitive Walkthrough is a technique for UI design evaluation by assessing how well the UI supports “exploratory learning,” AAR2 i.e., first-time use without formal training. The method involved providing a user and a task perspective.
Cognitive walkthrough approach is based on the Lewis and Polson’s theory of exploratory learning which is based on some certain steps to identify user groups based on users’ skill Level (Lewis & Rieman, 2011; Polson, Lewis, Rieman, & Wharton, 1992; Wharton, Rieman, Lewis, & Polson, 1994). This theory of exploratory learning is necessary for information processing of human cognition that describes human-computer interaction in given below steps:
· The user must know what task he/she going to perform prior to performing the task
· The user should learn while performing the task
· The user sets a goal to accomplish within the system to complete the task
· The user searches and recognizes the interface for available actions
· The user chooses the most appropriate action to make progress to accomplish his goal.
· The user evaluates the system’s output for the proof that progress is being made towards the targeted goal
Use of the Cognitive Walkthrough as the only method for evaluating an interface would push design trade—offs in an interface in the direction of ease of learning. For example, the Walkthrough process would give a negative evaluation to features intended to enhance productivity if these features make it harder to decide how to perform a task. Cognitive Walkthroughs evaluate each step necessary to perform a task, attempting to uncover design errors that would interfere with learning by exploration. The method» finds mismatches between users’ and designers’ conceptualization of a task, poor choices of wording for menu titles and button labels, and inadequate feedback about the consequences of an action.
The procedure uncovers implicit or explicit assumptions made by developers about users’ knowledge of the task and the interface conventions. The evaluation procedure takes the form of a series of questions asked about each step in the task that are derived from a theory of learning by exploration (Polson, et a1., 1992).
Cognitive walkthrough focuses on understanding the impact of the design on the user, that is, on what the user is trying to accomplish at each screen and what they might be thinking. By asking simple but probing questions, along with the use of scenarios the assessors can assume the behavior and thoughts of the user, ‘in their shoes’ as it were (Johnson, 2016). This approach allows the user and the tasks to come to the forefront of the assessment whereby the usability can be assessed while using the system to accomplish a given task or goal.The cognitive walkthrough focuses on the users who are new to a given user-interface and trying to find out how to use it. This implies that the cognitive walkthrough is targeting on the reasoning and not focusing on the speed and accuracy of the users. This helps in evaluating the ease with which targeted users will be able to perform the task with little or no formal training or coaching.
In summary, potential users of the Cognitive Walkthrough must understand that it is focused very explicitly on one aspect of usability, ease of learning. It attempts to provide a detailed, step-by-step evaluation of the user’s interaction with an interface in the process of carrying out a specific task. (Wharton, Riemann, Lewis, and Polson 1994 in Cognitive Walkthrough: Practitioner’s Guide).
AAR1There is no need to write these and other terms in capital letters, unless it’s abbreviations or they are commonly used like that.
AAR2Exploratory Learning definition should come under this paragraph