When purchasing an automobile, chances are good you take several out for a test ride. You play with the buttons. Get a feel for where your head is in relation to the ceiling, windshield, dashboard and sun visor. Is it usable for you?
Maybe you step on the gas pedal to see how fast it goes from zero to 60mph. Or doesn’t. When you get back to the dealership, you ask about available colors, ship dates if a hot model, and if you make a purchase, some salespersons tell you that if you refer them to someone else, they’ll give you $50.
This experience is common to millions of people around the world. And yet, we STILL have to convince companies and management to consider usability and usability testing for their products.
They seem incredibly convinced that the moment their product launches, everyone will want it. One must only spend a little time in design circles to learn that this is an utopian dream. Every product you hold in your hand has failed tests and worse, done its worst performance after customers have used it.
Websites suffer this experience. Anything that is translated from an idea in one’s head into something that will be used by plant, mineral, animal or human has to be user centered.
The first fire ever built likely burned somebody until they figured out how to make it user friendly.
If you face the impossible company or manager that insists they have not the money, interest or time for usability or performance testing, this article may offer support.
You’re enthusiastic about usability and want to make it happen within your organisation. But your manager doesn’t share your enthusiasm. Perhaps your manager sees usability as a diversion from the business of product or software development, or thinks it’s too fluffy to truly inform design, or sees it as a threat to his or her expertise. How do you go about changing your manager’s mind?
Try taking away their car.