Re: Usability Testing--Interim (I hope) summary

Subject: Re: Usability Testing--Interim (I hope) summary
From: "Tim Altom" <taltom -at- simplywritten -dot- com>
To: "Tom Murrell" <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>, "TechDoc List" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2000 10:06:19 -0500

Tom, my response is the same one I generally give to similar objections:
have somebody set up testing for your materials, then let them do it. Be
prepared to be astonished. Most people are. You won't believe anything
that's written here, but you can cut through all nonsense and hype by just
doing it correctly at least once, to see for yourself. Don't ruminate or
pick faults with others...try it. Just be sure that the first few sessions
are done by people who have experience with it. Done incorrectly, it's
valueless, just as most things are. Don't take the easy way of fishing for
others' experiences. Do it first-hand. If your documentation proves to have
no significant user barriers in navigation, organization, or readability,
then you can conclude that your heuristics are too good to be improved upon
and those of us who advocate constant testing are blockheads. Opinions are
cheap and plentiful. Data are more convincing. The best way to shut up those
you disagree with is to perform the same experiments they did.

But I stand by my statements: be prepared to be astonished.

Tim Altom
Simply Written, Inc.
Featuring FrameMaker and the Clustar(TM) System
"Better communication is a service to mankind."
Check our Web site for the upcoming Clustar class info

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