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Usability Testing: A Journey, Not a Destination

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1 Author(s)
Miller, J. ; Miramontes Computing

Usability testing for interfaces can fit into a design project in several ways. The author looks at how good testing techniques can make projects run better and faster, and produce an improved result. The primary point is that there's no incompatibility between usability testing and a rational product process. We can think of usability testing as simply another aspect of quality assurance, and can fold it into the product process in much the same way as software quality assurance (QA). By having usability people involved from the beginning, big problems get found earlier, and small problems get found in time. The fear of losing control of a project to a usability person who finds a last-minute interface design problem is therefore a red herring. You can indeed find usability problems that might affect project completion late in the development process, just like you can find system architecture problems. But the way to keep this from happening is to test your system and your ideas during each stage of development, gathering the kind of information you need at each of those stages. That's why usability testing is a journey, not a destination

Published in:

Internet Computing, IEEE  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Nov.-Dec. 2006

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