Usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use. And the big myth is that Usability Research Methods take too much time and costs too much money. Not true. There are many activities that can be conducted on a tight budget and within time constraints.
Interviews & Surveys
Interviews one of the most common and easiest methods to use to gather requirements. It is amazing the amount of information one can gather by having a conversation with a user of a product.
A competitive analysis of web content is an assessment of competing websites based on your content goals. This could be an assessment of branding, usability, accessibility, information architecture, or any other element of your web or content strategy.
Wants & Needs Analysis
A Wants & Needs Analysis is an inexpensive brainstorming activity for any product that results in a prioritized list of users’ wants and needs.
Heuristic Evaluation is another discount usability engineering method that is perfect for quick, cheap, and easy evaluation of a user interface design. It involves having a small set of expert evaluators examine the interface and judge its compliance with recognized usability principles.
Card Sorting is a popular and inexpensive user-centered research methodology that allows the researcher to collect data from website user groups in terms of how information on a website should be grouped, organized and labeled according to the user’s mental model.
The most basic and useful way to test usability is through the process known as Usability Testing. This is where representative users perform representative tasks while a moderator observes what the user does, where they succeed, and where they have difficulties with the user interface.
Many of you may know that I decided to go back to school and get my Master's Degree in HCDE from the University of Washington. For those of you who didn't know... let me tell you, it's been a long, but interesting and fulfilling journey. Full Story »