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Improving system usability through parallel design

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2 Author(s)
J. Nielsen ; Sun Microsystems, Mountain View, CA, USA ; J. M. Faber

Companies are shortening software project schedules to introduce products more rapidly than competitors. At the same time, customers are demanding higher usability. Unfortunately, the goals of increased usability and decreased development time conflict with traditional usability engineering approaches. The design process always requires several rounds where interfaces confront users' needs and capabilities and are modified accordingly. This approach is called iterative design. Our experience indicates the need for at least two iterations, yielding three versions, before the product is good enough for release. However three or more iterations are better. The paper considers how parallel design costs more than traditional iterative design but produces results faster by using several designers independently and simultaneously. It is preferable when time-to-market is critical

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 2 )