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Executive Summary

Executive Summary

By now, most companies accept the need to improve the usability of their websites, intranets, software designs, hardware designs, and other projects that have a user interface. Many companies also know that user testing is the simplest and fastest method in the usability engineering toolbox. (Unfortunately, many don’t know about the other methods in the toolbox or how to combine multiple usability methods throughout the project lifecycle, but that’s a story for another day.)

Lots of people believe in user testing, but not much testing takes place in real design projects. What’s the cause of this discrepancy? Mainly, it is the barrier to firing off a quick, small test whenever people are faced with a design decision. Very few companies are positioned to make a test happen within the deadlines needed for a fast-moving development project. This lack of test-readiness means that testing becomes a rare and precious event that—at best—happens once in each project.


  

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