3usability expert credentials - was: Re: Thanks for showing up!
- Jul 13, 2004--- In email@example.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?
>Me too - sort of. If the piece of functionality is used by one
> I always just relied on the "doesn't suck" principle
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.
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