Re: Usability - any experiences or processes to share?

Subject: Re: Usability - any experiences or processes to share?
From: <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: <jlshaeffer -at- aol -dot- com>,<techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 25 May 2008 23:37:55 -0400

Perhaps I should have spoken more at length. If all you do is test for usability after the fact, in an attempt to inject some usability, that is futile. Say that you've discovered the product you're about to ship ranks low on usability. Now what do you do? (a) Ignore the results? (b) Cancel the usability expert's contract? (c) Yell at someone? (d) Postpone FCS for a week while you redo a couple of screens? (e) Have four or five beers? And a couple more? (f) All of the above?

Usability studies must be involved at the outset, or fairly soon into the development activity. Iteration is a good idea if the process is designed to allow refactoring with feedback. A commitment from top management is helpful, because otherwise someone (not necessarily management) can scuttle the usability effort, perhaps to fulfill some private agenda.

--Peter Neilson

> Testing for usability
> may or may not be futile. The biggest improvements in usability that I
> have seen in real-world examples came from observing and reacting to
> the problems that actual users had. It was an iterative process.
> I have bookmarked the site that Peter referenced ( It looks promising.
> Jim
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
> wrote:
> Testing for usability is futile.


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