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Interview with Rolf Molich: Usability test are not suitable for finding usability problems

The UPA Voice has an interview with Rolf Molich, a Danish usability expert, who is best known for his comparative studies of usability teams evaluating the same products (the CUE-studies).

The most important finding of his studies is that different teams report very different results. For example, in a study involving nine professional usability teams testing Hotmail, only 25% of the usability problems reported where the same.

So where does this leave usability testing?

"Its most important role is to make people understand the need for the prevention of usability problems." "But the method is much too expensive to eradicate all usability problems or even just all serious usability problems."

Instead we should prevent usability problems in the first place. Rolf recommends that development teams follow basic usability rules, such as the heuristics he and Jakob Nielsen have developed.

Links:

  • The interview with Rolf Molich Open link in new window
  • More about the CUE-studies Open link in new window
  • Rolf and Jakob's usability heuristics Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 06, 2007 - via Column Two

See also: Expert reviews (11)  Cost-justification and ROI (27)  Usability testing (68) 

 

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