Re: [agile-usability] usability expert credentials - was: Re: Thanks for showing up!
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 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?
>> > 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.
>> > =====
>> > Phlip
>> > http://industrialxp.org/community/bin/view/Main/TestFirstUserInterfac