CUE-7 – Recommendations

The purpose of CUE-7 was to compare recommendations for given usability problems.

Nine professional teams simultaneously and independently suggested recommendations for fixing six nontrivial usability problems. Three problems originated from CUE-5 (IKEA PAX Wardrobe Planner). The remaining three problems originated from CUE-6 (

The CUE-7 results were presented and discussed at a panel session entitled “Recommendations on Recommendations” at the CHI 2007 conference in San Jose, CA, USA, in May 2007.

Overview of all CUE-studies

We often complain that developers don’t listen to us.
Enough complaining!
Let’s make our advice more usable and useful to them.
— Jeff Johnson —

Practitioner’s Take Away

  • Be aware of business and technical constraints.
    If business values are irrelevant to usability assessments, it isn’t hard to also conclude that usability is irrelevant to business.
  • Spell out your recommendation in detail to avoid misunderstanding and “creative misinterpretation.”
  • Recommend the least possible change. Tweaking the existing thing is always preferable to starting over. Major changes require major effort, including retesting a lot of “stuff.”

Papers about CUE-7

Recommendations on Recommendations,
by Rolf Molich, Kasper Hornbæk, Steven Krug, Josephine Scott and Jeff Johnson
User Experience Magazine, Vol. 7, Issue 4, 2008.

Available Downloads

  • Overview of CUE-7. The panel description (2 pages, PDF, 40 KB).
  • A description of the usability problems (10 pages, PDF, 359 KB).
  • Master solution. The solution that a majority of the panel members preferred (24 pages, PDF, 728 KB).