Re: Usability - any experiences or processes to share?

Subject: Re: Usability - any experiences or processes to share?
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: mary_arrotti -at- yahoo -dot- com
Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 15:54:52 -0400

Testing for usability is futile.

Usability belongs in the initial planning, and should not be some sort
of "add-on". Instead, it is a method for preventing the huge amounts of
wasted effort that go into creating software that never gets finished or
that is rejected at beta by the customers or their users.

The result of running usability testing on an already-existing web app
is often merely a redesign of the graphics, because no one understands
(or wants to understand) that the application presents the wrong choices
in the wrong order.

Presented incorrectly, usability engineering simply reveals management
to be ignorant or stupid. Tech writers often see the far end of this bad
process, when they hear the words, "I don't care what you've discovered.
It's too late to change the interface now. You'll just have to document
around it. That's what we pay you for."

For those interested, Jon Meads (jon * usability-architects.com) has a
good handle on practical usability. Replace the * with an at sign.
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References:
Usability - any experiences or processes to share?: From: Mary Arrotti

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