W&N and Cognitive Walkthrough

We conducted a wants and needs analysis with three Information School graduate students who were currently enrolled in the LIS 537 course. Afterward, we conducted a cognitive walkthrough with each participant individually.

Background and Purpose

We had already seen value in the wants and needs analysis we had conducted in class, but decided to conduct a second one with our target user group. The activity resulted in much more detailed and relevant comments and suggestions from the participants than we had seen before.

Each member of our team then accompanied a participant to a separate computer and asked them to perform a series of exploratory tasks on the existing version of the TiddlyWiki Thesaurus. They were asked to use the think-aloud protocol, as the researcher took notes. Since this activity followed the thought exercise proposed in the wants and needs analysis, participants commented on how the actual application varied from their ideal vision. This produced many useful results, and gave us an idea of the major problem areas in the application.


Each team member participated in both activities, and in the production of the report. I took notes during the wants and needs analysis, and ran a participant through the cognitive walkthrough phase.

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W&N and Cognitive WalkthroughW&N and Cognitive Walkthrough