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Part: I Startup

Part I: Startup

Figure P-1. Startup


The Startup phase is about bringing attention to the issue of usability and aligning the mandatory executive and consultant resources to start a usability initiative.

The institutionalization of usability starts with a wake-up call. Be it reading a book or experiencing a disaster, the attention of the organization needs to move toward the issue of usability.

Among those experienced in the field of usability, there seems to be total agreement about the criticality of an executive champion. This champion should not be a lone evangelist in the trenches—the champion should be someone high enough in the executive suite to have a real impact on the corporate focus and the ability to bring a strategic level of resources to bear on the problem. Without this executive, there is little hope of meaningful long-term success.

The executive champion provides direction, resources, focus, and accountability. However, the executive also needs an operational team that has expertise and resources in the field of usability. While it might be possible to recruit usability staff and build an infrastructure from scratch, it is often better to start with an experienced usability professional to guide you. This professional should have access to an experienced and integrated team and a full set of methods, tools, templates, and standards to help you build your infrastructure.



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