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CGT 512 - Reading Reflection - Week 7

Another thing to read, another thing to write about.

Designing Web Sites That Work: Usability for the Web

This article stresses persuasive usability - integrating usability into everything we do. The authors contend, and rightfully so, that usability should not be an add-on, it should be thought out from the beginning.

Two categories of usability methods exist (very broad).

  1. Gathering data about the behavior of actual users (focus groups, panels, usability testing, interviews, etc.)
  2. Those that can be applied without any actual users
    • Lack of money, time, or could be hard to reach your target audience
    • If any of the conditions above are met, you may have to estimate how usable your design is

They then go over the persuasive usability design process, which I put a picture of below. It is pretty straight forward. Each process is completed, and before moving on to the next process an evaluation is required. This is definitely an iterative process as the arrows from evaluation back to the specific step in the process are double sided. This means it can go back and forth as many times as necessary.

Throughout this paper, I feel they give great information. I liked how they outlined the project schedule. I am currently working on 2-3 entrepreneurial endeavors and this will definitely help me, as well as the group of people I am working with. Along with the project schedule, they outline project management. It’s almost like a project management for dummies, but it does a great job of getting the point across as well as explaining everything in a good amount of detail.

The last thing I wanted to shed light on is the people involved and how much time they spend working as the project progresses. It is just amazing to me how much time a the usability specialist needs to spend working on a specific project. They seem to work on the project a lot, up until the launch, yet they are never really done. I would have thought the HTML/Graphic Designer would have to work a lot more, but it seems as these two positions work only at specific parts of the timeline. Take a look at the graphic below to see what I am talking about.

Overall this chapter of the book (cited below) is very good. It provides copious amounts of information, which is useful to anyone in the usability field as well as the entrepreneurial field.

Citation:

Brinck, T., Gergle, D., and Wood, S.D. Usability for the Web: Designing Web Sites that Work. Morgan Kaufmann, New York, 2002.

 

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