PPIG 2002 - 14th Annual Workshop
A Study of Usability of Z formalism Based on Cognitive Dimensions
Emma Triffitt, Babak Khazaei
Abstract: This paper discusses research undertaken to look at the usability of Z – a formal specification notation and TranZit – a computer editor for writing Z specifications.
The cognitive dimensions framework was the usability evaluation tool chosen for this research. This study focused on how particular cognitive dimensions were relevant to novice use and understanding of the Z notation when reading and writing specifications. This was investigated firstly by completing the ‘Cognitive Dimensions questionnaire optimised for users’ (Blackwell & Green, 2000) and subsequently by an empirical study developed for some chosen dimensions. The study backed up the choices made and brought up other issues of interest. This has led to ideas for future studies. Further studies may focus on other cognitive dimensions which were found to be important for novice use of Z; or involve trying this experimental approach on other exploratory design activities.