PPIG 2000 - 12th Annual Workshop
A Cognitive Dimensions Questionnaire Optimised for Users
Alan F. Blackwell, Thomas R.G. Green
Abstract: The Cognitive Dimensions of Notations framework (CDs) provides a powerful vocabulary for discussing the usability of programming languages, tools and environments. Although originally proposed as a discussion tool for designers, they have recently been used to design questionnaires intended for system users evaluating the usability of the programming tools they use (Kadoda et al., 1999) We extend their approach: rather than develop questionnaires tailored to specific systems, we propose a generalised questionnaire in which the definitions of the CDs themselves are offered to the users, and respondents can choose for themselves the features of the system that they wish to criticise. This questionnaire has been completed by an extremely diverse range of users, showing that a generalised CDs questionnaire indeed a suitable tool for user evaluation. Not surprisingly, some problems emerged as well.