Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [agile-usability] Abuse of Usage

Expand Messages
  • Phlip
    ... There are blog entries out there that accuse Dilbert of being a tool of the Man - of encouraging complancency. Gotta love that bloggosphere! -- Phlip
    Message 1 of 12 , Apr 4, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      Rob Keefer wrote:

      > When people spout off like this it reminds me of
      > a point that Scott Adams (author of Dilbert) makes
      > quite often on his blog

      There are blog entries out there that accuse Dilbert of being a tool
      of the Man - of encouraging complancency.

      Gotta love that bloggosphere!

      --
      Phlip
      http://www.greencheese.org/ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!
    • Jared M. Spool
      ... I wonder which body part I am? Jared Jared M. Spool, Founding Principal, User Interface Engineering 4 Lookout Lane, Unit 4d, Middleton, MA 01949 978
      Message 2 of 12 , Apr 5, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        At 01:02 PM 4/4/2006, you wrote:
        >I doubt I am "the face of usability."

        I wonder which body part I am?

        Jared


        Jared M. Spool, Founding Principal, User Interface Engineering
        4 Lookout Lane, Unit 4d, Middleton, MA 01949
        978 777-9123 jspool@... http://www.uie.com
        Blog: http://www.uie.com/brainsparks
      • Tim Wright
        On behalf of the Wellingtonians in New Zealand (where Mike is based) who have met you and do understand Usage-Centered Design (I taught it at the University in
        Message 3 of 12 , Apr 6, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          On behalf of the Wellingtonians in New Zealand (where Mike is based) who have met you and do understand Usage-Centered Design (I taught it at the University in Wellington for a couple of years), sorry. Some of us do understand Usage-Centered Design and think it is fantastic.

          I am still a *big* advocate of user-testing, especially in organisations who are unwilling to change their design process - I have found that in my current organisation (large government department) it is the politics of process ownership that get in the way of any consistent methodology. Perhaps I'll write a paper about this one day.

          Dr Tim Wright


          On 4/5/06, Larry Constantine <lconstantine@...> wrote:
          Toward the end of a screed misrepresenting then attacking my views and
          methods, Michael Andrews, a blogger in New Zealand adds:

          "I focus on Constantine's views in particular because for many people in the
          agile programming world, he is the face of usability. [Disclosure: I've
          never met Constantine or even know anyone who has. My criticisms of are the
          methods he advocates, not of him as a person.] Constantine is a major writer
          on the Yahoo agile usability list, a list more dominated by programmers than
          usability professionals. The people-free "usability solution" offered by
          usage centered design is no doubt appealing to some programmers. But if
          agile programmers are going to learn what usability is about, they need to
          get a representative presentation of usability, especially the importance of
          user testing."

          I doubt I am "the face of usability." As regulars on this forum know, I am
          actually only one occasional contributor to what is a broad and open
          community with diverse opinions. My posting here is to reiterate for the
          record so this community remains clear about what my opinions actually are.

          It is both unfair and incorrect to write that "Constantine fashions himself
          as a usability expert, but he dismisses what 99% of other usability experts
          consider the foundation of usability: usability testing." I do not dismiss
          it, nor am I a "critic of usability testing." I have questioned the
          over-reliance on testing, particularly when it is to the exclusion of better
          up-front design based on understanding of real user needs, and I have
          documented some of the little acknowledged downsides of usability testing,
          which might put me in a minority but does not make me wrong. Neither do I
          reject testing as "too expensive and inefficient."

          In a nutshell this has been and remains my position: Usability testing is
          always a good idea. The better your design is the less user testing will be
          needed to achieve a given degree of usability. Depending primarily on
          usability testing alone to find problems is more expensive and less
          efficient than combining it with other approaches, such as, collaborative
          usability inspections, which Andrew dismisses as "more people chatting while
          sitting around a conference table." (Those of you who have participated in
          one of our usability inspections know it is a highly structured review with
          assigned roles, formal definitions, and strict rules, one of which prohibits
          "chatting.")

          I suppose I should not take it too personally, since he misunderstands and
          slights agile methods and programmers too, but I do, particularly when he
          wrongly attacks and attributes to me individually the book co-authored with
          Lucy Lockwood. Yes, we did cite a lot of our own work, because at that time
          much of the most relevant work was ours, but then, too, we had far more
          citations to others. And, yes, we did not devote many pages to
          testing--because we were writing a book about DESIGN not testing. A check of
          any book about usability testing will reveal not a lot said about design.

          Which brings me to the subtext of my message. I contribute to this forum
          because it is a genuine dialogue, open and fair, with diverse views and
          strong opinions, but without malice and minimal misrepresentation, a place
          where misunderstandings are quickly countered and corrected. Unfortunately,
          the blogosphere is something different. 


          --Larry Constantine, IDSA
            Director, Lab-USE - The Laboratory for Usage-centered Software Engineering
            University of Madeira, Funchal, Portugal



          YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS






          --
          Kei te kōrero tiki au. Kei te kōrero tiki koe. Ka kōrero tiki tāua. Kōrero ai tiki tāua.
        • William Pietri
          Hi, Larry. ... I haven t seen his blog, but I wouldn t sweat it. My impression of your views is basically what you state. And as the guy who may be
          Message 4 of 12 , Apr 6, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi, Larry.

            Larry Constantine wrote:
            > Toward the end of a screed misrepresenting then attacking my views and
            > methods, Michael Andrews, a blogger in New Zealand [...]
            >
            > In a nutshell this has been and remains my position: Usability testing is
            > always a good idea. The better your design is the less user testing will be
            > needed to achieve a given degree of usability. [...]
            >
            > I suppose I should not take it too personally [...] I contribute to this forum
            > because it is a genuine dialogue, open and fair [...] Unfortunately,
            > the blogosphere is something different.

            I haven't seen his blog, but I wouldn't sweat it. My impression of your
            views is basically what you state. And as the guy who may be
            single-handedly responsible for the apparent overrepresentation of
            developers here, hopefully I'm a good proxy for the view of an outsider,
            somebody who's interest in usability is pragmatic rather than a chosen
            career.

            As you say, the different media can suit different purposes. Given that
            the fellow has posted here exactly once, it's hard for me to take him
            particularly seriously. If he had wanted to understand, he could have
            asked questions or started a discussion. I gather his purpose was
            instead to rant. When dogs howl at the moon, it's never clear to me how
            much the moon is the problem.

            William
          • Larry Constantine
            Thanks for the support over the years, Tim. I actually know Wellington well as a repository of smart people who get it and don t go around misrepresenting
            Message 5 of 12 , Apr 7, 2006
            • 0 Attachment
              Thanks for the support over the years, Tim. I actually know Wellington well
              as a repository of smart people who "get it" and don't go around
              misrepresenting things.

              Tim wrote:
              =====
              I am still a *big* advocate of user-testing, especially in organisations who
              are unwilling to change their design process - I have found that in my
              current organisation (large government department) it is the politics of
              process ownership that get in the way of any consistent methodology. Perhaps
              I'll write a paper about this one day.
              =====

              Very good point. Do write that paper--maybe sooner than someday. If a group
              does nothing else, they should at least do user testing. Ironically, I
              frequently find myself the strong advocate of testing with organizations
              that are unwilling to budget for it. I may be a great designer, but it gives
              me the willies to think of software being released without at least
              selective user testing.

              --Larry Constantine, IDSA
              Director, Lab-USE - The Laboratory for Usage-centered Software Engineering
              Professor, Department of Mathematics and Engineering
              University of Madeira, Funchal, Portugal
              Chief Scientist | Constantine & Lockwood Ltd | www.foruse.com
              58 Kathleen Circle | Rowley, MA 01969
              t: +1 978.948.5012 | f: +1 978.948.5036


              ________________________________________
              From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
              [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tim Wright
              Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2006 1:13 PM
              To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [agile-usability] Abuse of Usage


              On behalf of the Wellingtonians in New Zealand (where Mike is based) who
              have met you and do understand Usage-Centered Design (I taught it at the
              University in Wellington for a couple of years), sorry. Some of us do
              understand Usage-Centered Design and think it is fantastic.

              I am still a *big* advocate of user-testing, especially in organisations who
              are unwilling to change their design process - I have found that in my
              current organisation (large government department) it is the politics of
              process ownership that get in the way of any consistent methodology. Perhaps
              I'll write a paper about this one day.

              Dr Tim Wright

              On 4/5/06, Larry Constantine <lconstantine@...> wrote:
              Toward the end of a screed misrepresenting then attacking my views and
              methods, Michael Andrews, a blogger in New Zealand adds:

              "I focus on Constantine's views in particular because for many people in the
              agile programming world, he is the face of usability. [Disclosure: I've
              never met Constantine or even know anyone who has. My criticisms of are the
              methods he advocates, not of him as a person.] Constantine is a major writer
              on the Yahoo agile usability list, a list more dominated by programmers than
              usability professionals. The people-free "usability solution" offered by
              usage centered design is no doubt appealing to some programmers. But if
              agile programmers are going to learn what usability is about, they need to
              get a representative presentation of usability, especially the importance of
              user testing."

              I doubt I am "the face of usability." As regulars on this forum know, I am
              actually only one occasional contributor to what is a broad and open
              community with diverse opinions. My posting here is to reiterate for the
              record so this community remains clear about what my opinions actually are.

              It is both unfair and incorrect to write that "Constantine fashions himself
              as a usability expert, but he dismisses what 99% of other usability experts
              consider the foundation of usability: usability testing." I do not dismiss
              it, nor am I a "critic of usability testing." I have questioned the
              over-reliance on testing, particularly when it is to the exclusion of better
              up-front design based on understanding of real user needs, and I have
              documented some of the little acknowledged downsides of usability testing,
              which might put me in a minority but does not make me wrong. Neither do I
              reject testing as "too expensive and inefficient."

              In a nutshell this has been and remains my position: Usability testing is
              always a good idea. The better your design is the less user testing will be
              needed to achieve a given degree of usability. Depending primarily on
              usability testing alone to find problems is more expensive and less
              efficient than combining it with other approaches, such as, collaborative
              usability inspections, which Andrew dismisses as "more people chatting while
              sitting around a conference table." (Those of you who have participated in
              one of our usability inspections know it is a highly structured review with
              assigned roles, formal definitions, and strict rules, one of which prohibits
              "chatting.")

              I suppose I should not take it too personally, since he misunderstands and
              slights agile methods and programmers too, but I do, particularly when he
              wrongly attacks and attributes to me individually the book co-authored with
              Lucy Lockwood. Yes, we did cite a lot of our own work, because at that time
              much of the most relevant work was ours, but then, too, we had far more
              citations to others. And, yes, we did not devote many pages to
              testing--because we were writing a book about DESIGN not testing. A check of
              any book about usability testing will reveal not a lot said about design.

              Which brings me to the subtext of my message. I contribute to this forum
              because it is a genuine dialogue, open and fair, with diverse views and
              strong opinions, but without malice and minimal misrepresentation, a place
              where misunderstandings are quickly countered and corrected. Unfortunately,
              the blogosphere is something different. 


              --Larry Constantine, IDSA
                Director, Lab-USE - The Laboratory for Usage-centered Software Engineering
                University of Madeira, Funchal, Portugal

              ________________________________________
              YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS

              •  Visit your group "agile-usability" on the web.
               
              •  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                agile-usability-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
               
              •  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service .

              ________________________________________



              --
              Kei te kōrero tiki au. Kei te kōrero tiki koe. Ka kōrero tiki tāua. Kōrero
              ai tiki tāua.
              SPONSORED LINKS
              Usability testing
              Usability
              Agile software development
              Agile development



              ________________________________________
              YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS

              •  Visit your group "agile-usability" on the web.
               
              •  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
               agile-usability-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
               
              •  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.

              ________________________________________
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.