[OT] How long before..

Ken Corey ken at kencorey.com
Thu Aug 2 05:42:59 CDT 2012


On 02/08/2012 08:16, Peter Alcibiades wrote:
>> ....If the HIG are not scientifically provable "usability", but simply
>> subjective statements, then how can we measure "usability"?
> The enterprise is fundamentally mistaken.  We have to start by recognizing
> there is no such thing.  One size does not fit all.  Different people,
[...]
> If you want to test an application, maybe the right test is user errors.
> Track them and see what's going wrong and change it.  In defiance of
> professional advice, I once permitted users to edit a data file directly,
> not giving them a more long winded but more controlled interface.  It was

Peter, my intuition says you're on to something here.

I was reading the development diary of the Android game "Replica 
Island". The game was reporting usage statistics back to the server, so 
he could see which levels were inherently harder, where people were 
having troubles, and therefore which bits of the game were demanding 
redesign.  (I don't know if he did redesign anything in the end, but the 
data was there to see).

In the app I just released, I learned very valuable things watching 
people try to play with it without training of any kind.  I watched them 
make "mistakes" and fail to use the program in various ways.

The places where they failed to accomplish what they wanted were areas 
that needed to be improved..."bugs", if you will.

Oh, the program demonstrably functioned, but if it did not meet with 
user expectations and make them more productive, then it's not meeting 
the design goals.

So it would seem that the initial design,coding and delivery is no more 
than half the ideal process.  There needs to be a feedback loop where 
the user interaction is observed, quantified, and learned from to 
improve the app.

-Ken



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