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103Re: [agile-usability] usability expert credentials - was: Re: Thanks for showing up!

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  • Gary
    Jul 20 6:59 PM

      another "blast from the past" post that evidently took the scenic route
      (and still is).

      I agree with Jeff's breakdown with 2 slight twists. From what I've seen
      companies break the work down into the 3 chunks.
      In large organizations Usability usually starts out with testing, then
      gets into some design, followed by front-end work, and finally more
      design and a life-cycle process.

      Second, most people seem to specialize in one phase or another. In fact
      they typically specialize in using a few of the tools available in that

      So what are the credentials? That is a different question. I've known
      folks who have had 1 year of experience 10 or more years and a few who
      have crammed 2 years of experience into a year. Additionally there
      isn't a certification program that is universally accepted. So for
      credentials we typically look at tools used, portfolio of work, input
      from collegues, and gut feel.


      > Jeff Patton wrote:
      >> --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Phlip <phlipcpp@y...> wrote:
      >> > What kind of credentials do usability experts need?
      >> As always, the answer is "it depends."
      >> I lump usability people into three groups:
      >> 1. up-front people: those who work at pre-development/pre-product
      >> stage to determine what software is appropriate to build 2. design
      >> people: knowing what the software should do, how exactly
      >> does it do it? Both appearance and user interaction
      >> 3. design validation or test people: given a piece of software
      >> functionality, exactly how usable is it? What adjustments could be
      >> made to make it more usable?
      >> Like developers, there are usability generalists who do all those
      >> things well, and specialists who focus hard on doing a particular
      >> thing well. Among usability people there are many different points
      >> of view on how any of those activities are done.
      >> What best credentials are depends on where you perceive risk to be
      >> in your project. Are customers unsure what to do? Are they sure
      >> what it should do, but hazy on exactly how? Do you have a product
      >> that does what it should, but does it poorly?
      >> >
      >> > I always just relied on the "doesn't suck" principle
      >> > myself...
      >> Me too - sort of. If the piece of functionality is used by one
      >> proficient person infrequently, I let it suck. If it's used by
      >> hundreds of inexperienced people very frequently, sucking might get
      >> expensive. Especially if you have to pay to frequently train this
      >> people, and provide help desk support for them. Since sucking can
      >> get very expensive in that situation, an expert in making it not
      >> suck can pay big dividends to a customer concerned with ROI.
      >> I think others on the list could better say what proficiencies a
      >> usability person should have.
      >> Also, usability people, if you have other points of view than mine
      >> on the 3 classes - I'd like to hear them.
      >> -Jeff
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> > =====
      >> > Phlip
      >> > http://industrialxp.org/community/bin/view/Main/TestFirstUserInterfac
      >> es
      >> >
      >> >
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