CUE-6 – Usability test vs. inspection

The purpose of CUE-6 was essentially the same as the purpose of CUE-4 and CUE-5: To compare the effectiveness and efficiency of usability testing and inspection techniques.

CUE-6 is a comparative usability evaluation of Enterprise’s car rental website, The evaluation was conducted in October 2006 in connection with the UI11 conference in Boston, Massachusetts.

Thirteen professional teams simultaneously and independently evaluated the website’s usability. Ten teams used usability testing (one with eye-tracking), and six teams used their favorite inspections technique. Three teams used a combination of usability testing and inspection.

Overview of all CUE-studies

Practitioner’s Take Away

Sample usability comments from CUE-6:

  • Unprofessional Aesthetic Design – Home Page
    Design looks “clunky” and “unprofessional” and does not flow well. Does not look like an established car rental agency.
    Recommendation: Hire a professional Graphic Designer to do a visual overhaul on the site.
  • Inconsistent Fonts – Select Your Vehicle Page
    The Fonts are very inconsistent throughout this page. For example, the “Looking for a quicker way to reserve?” text is smaller than the “Learn More” link. It seems as if the style sheets were blindly applied without any further editing and only serves to accentuate the unprofessionalism of this site.
  • Hanging Icon
    The BBBOnline Reliability Program icon seems to just hang there – as if the designers didn’t know where else to stick it.
    Recommendation: Get rid of this icon.

These three comments about made by professional teams all violate a key guideline for usability comments (“express your annoyance tactfully”).

Comments like these hardly create a fruitful working relationship with the product team.

Available Downloads

  • The evaluation instructions (10 sider, PDF, 59 KB).
  • The evaluation reports submitted by the 13 participating teams (343 pages, PDF, 8,116 KB).