Zeno's Paradox
While critical thinking may not make up for a lack of knowledge, it is essential for gaining knowledge.
Sunday, December 08, 2002:  

Human Factors:

Professional Usability Testing and Return On Investment (57-page PDF file, 340kb) Summary (Charles L. Mauro - TaskZ)
Professional usability engineering and testing is a well-established development discipline that has been used extensively to create some of our most successful military and commercial systems. With the maturation of the web as a delivery model for information and E-Commerce, the formal science of usability will become increasingly important. This paper discusses the return on investment (ROI) implications of integrating formal usability testing methods into web development projects.
I've only skimmed this 57-page report so far, so a few quick comments for now:

Mauro is arguing the importance of usability engineering as conducted by highly experienced and educated professionals. Few of the so-called "gurus" qualify by Mauro's standards, let alone any but a tiny minority of today's usability practitioners. As someone who does qualify, I think Mauro's ignoring the reality of the marketplace - the software development industry, especially website development, is not interested in the quality level that Mauro discusses.

More after I go over the report more carefully...

    -  Ron  9:31 PM

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