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Domain Expertise

The consultant should understand the general domain of your business, but he or she does not need extensive specific domain expertise. However, general expertise in your type of applications is important. For example, if you produce software for chemical engineers, your consultant should have experience with scientific applications. This is an example of high-level domain expertise. If you are in the financial industry, it is important that the consultant have experience with financial products. The consultant does not need to be knowledgeable about your particular type of chemical product offering or financial offering.

Every organization has a particular focus. Examples include systems for manufacturing automobiles, managing time reporting for lawyers, and genetic engineering. These specific domains are very unique, and although it would be helpful to have a consultant who is familiar with your specific domain, it is more important that the consultant have some general domain knowledge and the ability to augment that with exceptional usability expertise. People who select usability consultants often overestimate the importance of specific domain expertise.


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