Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Usability Testing

One of the most fundamental usability methods is, of course, user testing, but the lack of time and resources sometimes makes this approach unfeasible in a corporate setting. Problems also arise and compound the difficulty of achieving relevant test results when we include user testing with an iterative design process. Therefore, one must differentiate between formative evaluation and summative evaluation.* Formative evaluation is performed in conjunction with steps of an iterative design process. Summative comes at the end and evaluates the overall quality of a design. This later evaluation type is most commonly used.
* From Jakob Nielsen's Usability Engineering

another version of the blueprint graphic.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Style Guide Documentation

Finding myself smack dab in the middle of writing a style guide for the company (a relatively new direction for us) and requiring some assistance for this uncharted territory, I have found a wonderful resource in the GNOME guides for their developers, namely the Human Interface Guidelines and the Style Guide they utilize. It is well written, succinct and comprehensive. As far as usability, a fairly modern concern, goes, it is rich in reasoning for their methodologies.

So google it. And learn. If you want.