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Chapter 14. Activities of the Establishe... > Performing Usability Testing

Performing Usability Testing

It is quite possible to have the usability practitioners on project teams do all of their own usability testing. However, there are two reasons to have some of the testing done by the central group. The first reason is the ability to economize. It is simple to hire specialists to do usability testing. You can maintain a small pool of usability testing staff members who do not have the capability to complete all the activities in user-centered design but are knowledgeable about running tests.

The second reason is objectivity. Some usability practitioners have trouble accepting that users can find lots of problems with designs, but that does not mean these practitioners are bad designers. These types of practitioners often feel resistant, and some will even argue with usability testing subjects to try to convince them that the design makes sense. Once, I watched a developer try to explain to a participant the difference between the OK and Apply buttons. With enough explanation, the participant seemed to agree that there was a difference (or more likely, he was bored by the discussion and just wanted to move on). In these cases, it helps to have someone else run the test.


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