Car park payment machines provide an every-day example of poor usability. They teach us that technology should not drive design, that less important tasks should not dominate the user interface and that usability is more than visual design. They also teach us that usability doesn’t always matter in design, the best user interface is no interface and that usability is a differentiator only when customers have a choice.
Being frugal during economic hard times is good business practice. So how can you squeeze your usability budget and still deliver great insights? These 10 suggestions for streamlining your usability efforts explode the myth that usability is expensive and time-consuming.
Until usability gets embedded in the processes of your company, you'll probably find you need to justify the investment. Fortunately, usability initiatives deliver a major return on investment: it's not unusual for usability projects to return benefits of 5-10 times their cost in the first year alone.
Last week the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) published a significant report on web accessibility. This report marks the DRC’s intention to get tough with organisations whose web sites cannot be used by disabled people. Over the next twelve months, we predict that the report will influence redesigns of virtually every major web site in the UK as organisations jockey with each other to avoid getting sued.
Before you can implement a usability initiative in your organisation, you'll need to convince your manager it's worthwhile. The obvious approach is to use a cost-benefit argument, but experience shows that this approach often fails because many managers find the data unconvincing. An alternative approach is to tailor your argument based on your manager's MBTI personality type. This approach generates many different ideas for selling usability within your organisation and is much more persuasive.
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