Understanding Artifact Analysis and Usability

Artifact analysis is a process that is typically used to identify different items of interest. People who engage in artifact analysis often review objects and take a look at many things like:

What the object in question is made out of Any special qualities to that object The general uses for it; this includes understanding who might use it and when or where it can be used Details on what the artifact tells us about the people who use it and how important it might be

A user or designer will have to create a conceptualization of objects and review them to understand the tasks that one has to complete in a particular situation. Artifact analysis must be used to help with reviewing several aspects that are associated with such items to make them easier to figure out. This is a practice that is used to determine how usable certain items are.

Reviewing Each Item

Each item in the artifact analysis process has to be analyzed and checked based on a series of critical factors. These include such factors as the total look at how items are to be created.

The designer will have to review many considerations on how a targeted audience will use an item. Each item has to be reviewed with a few questions in mind:

How would the target audience want to use such an item in particular? That is, what would a target audience do with the item based on how large it is and how it is made? What types of interests do people have in today’s society? These could easily influence the design process based on how these interests can influence the ways how people use items. What would the average person make of a certain feature on a product? Some cultures may have more of a need for certain functions in their objects than what others have.

Considering a Context of Use

All people who are associated with creating a product must take a look at how items are made. Specifically, it may help to test an item based on how it may be used and figure out if there are alternate ways of using an object.

Several things are to be reviewed when taking a look at the context of use. These points in an artifact analysis study include:

Understanding the audience that is more likely to use the product Seeing what types of goals the audience might have Figuring out the physical environment that the object will be used in The social and organizational beliefs that the targets have Any constraints associated with using something; this includes restrictions on what certain people are capable of doing

This is done to create a more realistic review of how items may be used. Specifically, it takes a look into how items are made and how these are to be utilized for any purpose. This information has to be checked right to ensure that there’s a sensible look at how items can work and if they are suitable for today’s population. After all, today’s population is often likely to think outside the box when it comes to creating new ideas.

Artifact analysis is a key part of study that must be used appropriately. This involves taking a closer look at the ways how objects may be utilized in today’s world and must be heavily considered in the overall design process.


Jessica is the Lead Author & Editor of UsabilityLab Blog. Jessica writes for the UsabilityLab blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to usability.