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Why Don't Companies Do More Usability Testing Early In Design And Development?

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#1 cre8pc


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Posted 25 July 2014 - 11:18 AM

This question was asked over in Linkedin in one of my UX stomping grounds and is related to what we have been discussing here about the fear of hiring UX.


I wrote there, 

As someone who is sub-contracted to do this work, the hurdles are fear-based and traced to stakeholders who don't know enough about the process, (or think they do but really don't.) The biggest example of the failure to test and plan during the build is the Healthcare.gov site. Most of us would have NEVER let that site into production. My experience has been that stakeholders invest in marketing and advertising and don't understand that if their website/application isn't functional or designed properly for their target market/users, it will tank. They always have this mind block. Those who do reach out for UX help, whether it be testing, design, user testing, requirements gathering, etc. want to know beforehand PROOF this investment will pay off for them.


Somebody else really nailed it:


* The skills don't exist in-house. 
* The budget doesn't exist hire out-house. 
* The value of usability testing isn't understood by the organisation 
* The product is competing in areas other than usability (price, feature list, etc.) 
* Previous bad experiences of usability testing (when, for example, it's done only once in a post-development phase when it's too late to use the feedback in any useful way) 
* The customer doesn't value usability (because they're not the end user, because they're focussed on feature lists, etc.) 


Do any of you work for companies that have UX blinders on?

#2 jonbey


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 06:07 PM

I guess most people have not heard of it. 


I am still not clear on what is actually done and how it helps. I understand the principle, but have no idea what somebody I hire would do. And if that is not already built into the design, how somebody could change it significantly without suggesting a new design. 

#3 cre8pc


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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:36 AM

Not having heard of usability testing?  


Ok, this is what I do for a living  :dazed:


It's a gigantic topic but the main thing I want to point out is that just because a company builds a website or software NEVER automatically means it is usable.  If I all websites and software were user friendly and accessible by every person who arrives to use it,  there would no use for me or my work.  I have never tested any website or app that passed usability testing.  They all fail somewhere, whether it be usability standards, accessibility compliance, functionality, mobile rendering, persuasive design, conversions or meeting business requirements.


UX testing includes information architecture and I am one of the rare folks that includes organic SEO in my work as part of what makes a site usable and findable.


Not all user interface engineers are trained in usability and human factors design.  Whenever you see a slider on a website, it was not placed there by anyone trained in usability, accessibility and conversions design.


Testing during the planning and build process is the best case policy for web and software design because the testing and QA process validates that the business and functional requirements are met, it works on all devices, works for the target users and will convert new site visitors.  Rolling out a broken product is dangerous to the company's brand.

Edited by cre8pc, 29 July 2014 - 09:40 AM.

#4 DCrx


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Posted 01 August 2014 - 04:03 AM

What is the UX of prevention in comparison to the UX of cure. Which is the more desirable.


This is a testable proposition which has been repeatedly tested for centuries. One UX gets a lot more money than the other. 


The only people surprised by this are UX proponents.


Usability is a hygenic factor. You get UX demerits but no brownie points. Clients regularly blow their budgets out of the water for brownies.


You can test spinach in this market. But don't be surprised at the results.


Everybody knows Fitts. Ever heard of Herzberg?

Edited by DCrx, 01 August 2014 - 04:11 AM.

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