Friday, 20 August 2010

Usability – updated best practice

Here as indicated last week - till I got distracted by that wonderful project management comic strip – is an update on Usability.

Once your clients understand how important usability is to their customers and that it can increase return business at the very least, they have to balance the cost of designing for usability and some pertinent usability testing against their business goals. Just give them some facts and the projected costs. What percentage of your general costs for a project is allocated to Usability?

If you deal in designing and building retail web sites across channels in the UK and US, you may like to tap into a white paper from the IMRG from July 2010 Respect the Shopper: Harmonising the Multi-channel Experience, which looked at shopper behaviour in London and New York across digital channels. It's listed at the bottom of the Usability page.

Then there is a 2009 list from the Tripwire team but it is comprehensive and gives links to loads of Usability sites under categories – even free usability tools!

Usability does call for expertise so you may want to contract it out to specialists. However, it is just as well to keep a level of understanding about what it involves so you can manage the process better.