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  1. How does usability increase revenue?
  2. How many end-users do I need for a usability test?
  3. What is the best time to evaluate for usability?
  4. Do we need a usability lab to conduct a usability test?
  5. How much does usability cost?
  6. What are the costs of poor design?
  7. What if our budget and schedule are very tight?
  8. We are new to usability, where do we start?
  9. What is PIPEDA and privacy legislation?
  10. Want to expand your customer base by 20%?

 


  1. How does usability increase revenue?


  2. Satisfied customers + With new customer needs = Buy more products.
    When a customer experiences good usability, they often notice. When they experience frustration and limited satisfaction, they really notice! With clever designs, products will meet end-user expectations for ease of use and influence customer behaviours toward organizational goals.


  3. How many end-users do I need for a usability test?


  4. The number of end-users depends on the number of user classes and the scope of the test. About 8 end-users per user class will reveal nearly all usability problems and provide the breadth and depth of data to make design decisions with confidence. When combined with an expert usability evaluation, a usability test conducted with as few as 4 end-users will reveal a wide-range of usability problems at a reduced cost. Find out more about usability tests with end-users.


  5. What is the best time to evaluate for usability?


  6. A usability test or evaluation should never be thought of as rubber stamping. The results will always reveal usability problems and will always invite design improvements. Since it is most costly to begin code changes at late stages of your development cycle, the best time for usability is early in the cycle, during conceptual stages of design. This is when usability work can have the highest impact for the lowest cost.

    Is your product almost ready to go live? We can still help! An expert usability evaluation right away will provide practical guidance for planning your next step. This could be a few small changes for now, with a vision for more substantial design improvements in a future release.


  7. Do we need a usability lab to conduct a usability test?


  8. Not necessarily. Most usability work today is conducted without ever entering a usability lab. Usability labs became popular in the late 1980s when unobtrusive observation, statistical significance, and analysis of minutia were thought to be of paramount importance. The drawback is that precious time is used up by analyzing miles of video tape after having conducted tests with too many end-users.

    We now know that most usability problems can be identified in the first few end-users that are tested. And because our experts can interpret findings as the tests are being conducted, you can benefit from a debriefing session at the end of each day of testing.


  9. How much does usability cost?


  10. Someone will design the user experience of your project so there is always a cost. Hiring a usability expert simply means you have the right person for the job and allows your systems designers and developers to focus on what they do best.

    Don’t forget about the costs of poor design! Frustrated end-users, missed opportunities, inefficient work-arounds, and costly last-minute code changes will inevitably increase costs over time. Invite an expert to join your team who will think about usability early, test with end-users often, and create a simple and elegant design solution.


  11. What are the costs of poor design?


  12. The costs of poor design are measurable, as in the following example:

    A financial institution has 25,000 customer records with roughly 2 data entry errors in one-third of them. It takes front-line staff about 15 minutes to sporadically catch and correct each error. After user interface design improvements, the rate of data entry errors is reduced by half. That results in a savings of 52 person-weeks!

    Avoid the costs of poor design with attention to usability and a commitment to user-centered design:

    • Reduce human error
    • Increase end-user productivity
    • Reduce training costs
    • Reduce customer support costs
    • Avoid the high cost of re-design in late stages of development


  13. What if our budget and schedule are very tight?

  14. Begin with an expert usability evaluation of a few important tasks that your end-users will perform. We can evaluate a design on paper, a prototype, or an existing system. The results will provide practical guidance for planning your next step. This could be a few small changes for now, with a vision for more substantial design improvements in the future.

    The next step could also include a quick usability test with end-users. The results will generate relevant and reliable data about the usability of your product or prototype so that informed design decisions can be made. Then we can work with your team to make design improvements.


  15. We are new to usability, where do we start?


  16. An informative place to begin is with an expert usability evaluation of a current design on paper, a prototype, or an existing system. For an introductory experience, we can reduce the formality of this approach and invite members of your cross-functional team to participate in the review. They will benefit from seeing usability experts in action and you will be benefit by understanding the level of usability for your current project.


  17. What is PIPEDA and privacy legislation?


  18. In 2003 the Canadian government extended the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) to include all businesses in Canada. This sweeping legislation obligates businesses to protect the personal information they gather and restricts how that information may be used. At Design | Strategy Inc we will work closely with your organization’s privacy policy advisors to ensure their input at early stages of design. An overview of PIPEDA can be found at the Department of Justice Canada.


  19. Want to expand your customer base by 20%?


  20. The number of technology users with special needs is growing. Nearly 20% of adults have functional challenges that make it difficult for them to perform tasks such as view screen content or use a mouse. People also use technology under diverse conditions: on a noisy factory floor, in a surgical theatre, or on a delivery truck. And they use a wide-range of technologies, such as mobile or audio-only browsers, eye-trackers, head-up displays, hands-free, and other non-traditional input devices. Products designed without attention to accessibility risk alienating a growing end-user population. Furthermore, governments are now legislating accessibility standards for their federal agencies, such as Section 508 in the United States. At Design | Strategy Inc we will ensure that your software initiatives meet the accessibility needs of your end-users.


 

 

 

 

 

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

 

 

 

 

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