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Usability Management As a Process

There is an old saying: if you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over?

Usability management refers to the process of sustaining a high level of usability awareness throughout the product development cycle. It makes usability a way of life, a natural part of the design and development process.

Websickle conducts usability testing within the broader context of a comprehensive, proactive quality management process. It is critical to test web projects to see that they work effectively; to assure the quality and usability of web sites. Quality and usability need to be designed into the web projects from the beginning and throughout the development and web life cycle.

Leading software and hardware development organizations that have experienced usability testing have integrated other user-centered design processes into web project development, such as -

  • Implementing internal guidelines for designing usable web sites
  • Developing internal usability review processes to supplement formal usability testing
  • Gathering specific usability feedback from beta testing, partners, and focus groups
  • Using prototyping, user analysis, and task analysis to gather early usability feedback
  • Reviewing competitors' designs and relevant industry examples of usable design
  • Improving online user assistance through improved online help, tips, tutorials, etc.

Integrating these activities into the web project development process is usability management. Usability testing is the best way to begin, and will continue to serve a critical role in assuring that web projects are well-designed; but the value of usability testing is increased when it is part of a usability management program.

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Last modified on 27 june 2004

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