Re: Practical Usability Testing

Subject: Re: Practical Usability Testing
From: "Anthony Markatos" <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: sandra -at- qmaster -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 06:52:40 PST

Andrew Plato said:

No book or theory or mindless tips from me will replace hands-on experience. If you want to do some REAL usability testing - USE THE PRODUCT!

Tony Markatos:

For complex (i.e., nonintuitive) software products, playing with the product; while always helpful, (sometimes much more so that others) is not nearly adequate.

In the main, usability is primarily achieved through effective organization. I agree with what Hackos, Redish, (both of TW fame); Yourdon and DeMarco(both primarily of Structured Systems Analysis fame); Jacobson (Object Oriented Analysis); Wienburg; and all the other software-related gurus state: The key to effective organization (usability) is to gain a clear, comprehensive understanding of the end-user's goals and how all of those goals interrelate.

For complex software systems - especially if poorly designed, you can play with the software until the cows come home and only guess at what the end-user's goals are in using the product.

Tony Markatos
(tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com)

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