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Chapter 19. Debugging and Testing > Usability/Functionality

Usability/Functionality

If any one aspect of design drives the authors up the wall, across the ceiling, and down the other wall, it is the issue of usability. We can't begin to count the number of times we have been asked to check out sites that were beautifully designed but impossible to use. When we report this back to the requester, the response is usually along the lines of, “Well I can use it. You must be pretty stupid if you can't.” In this case, the designer designed for himself or herself and assumed everyone else on the planet was his or her clone.

At the other end of the spectrum is a very disturbing trend—regarding usability as a “politically correct” mantra. In this case, the final design reflects superb usability but is absolute vanilla on the design scale. These sites are sensitive to the dictums of the “Usability Police,” whose chief is Jakob Nielsen.


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