Ivory and Hearst have brought together an excellent and comprehensive review of automated usability evaluation techniques. Usability evaluation can be expensive, and the ability to support this dimension of business and product development with other cost-effective solutions is extremely valuable. The authors stress that automated methods should be used in conjunction with traditional usability methods, and should not replace them.
This paper analyzes a wide range of usability methods, and presents a taxonomy of 132 methods, split by applicability to either WIMP (windows, icons, pointer, and mouse) interfaces or Web interfaces. It also indicates which can be used for both. The methods are structured into five categories: testing, inspection, inquiry, analytical modeling, and simulation. One of the valuable contributions of this paper is bringing information on all these different methods together. This is especially true for simulation methods, which are often kept quite separate. For each area, the authors consider the current state of the art, and discuss the extent to which automation has been achieved. A full set of paper references is provided, allowing the interested reader to follow up with the developers of each technique.