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Usability Myths Need Reality Checks

Will Schroeder looks at some common Usability myths that have cemented themselves into our profession's foundation and started questioning how they got there.


  • UIE - Usability Myths Need Reality Checks Open link in new window

Tim Lucas - March 23, 2003

See also: Research (129)  Web page design (40)  Navigation (63)  Usability testing (68) 



Junk. Schroeder offers no useful evidence whatsoever to back his statements. He just repeats over and over, they are wrong (without giving a shred of useful evidence ) and I am right. Given the poor quality of the "research" from his company in the past, there's plenty of reason not to trust Schroeder's assertions.

Why do people post this garbage?

Ron Zeno | March 29, 2003


I agree with you Ron. This is just another myth ? about myths. I was a bit surprised when I read it, since I - unlike you it seems - value UIE's articles very high, because they are mostly backed up by research. Though their "research" might not be scientifically correct, their experiences from fieldworks are much more valuable than armchair guruism.

Henrik Olsen | April 01, 2003


I agree about Schroeder not backing up his statements with (hard) evidence, and is now officialy charged of creating another myth q;) But in all fairness, to me just asking this particular question (not the statements) is what science is all about: Question evidence, tools, and methods. To question or not. To question, that is the question. (Scientific research questionned punctuation in the famous Shakespeare quote, giving it a different perspective, while never proven)

Pieter-Jan Pruuost | April 03, 2003


Way back in 2002, UIE published tips that talked about their findings about the number of users. However, UIE admits having neglected to post that article.

Then, in the issue above, Will Schroeder talked about those findings in his article on debunking myths. This prompted many asking about the findings, causing UIE to realize the error of their ways.

Well, UIE rectified all that and decided to republish the article.

Pieter-Jan Pruuost | April 07, 2003


Yes, Spool has shown that he requires far more participants in usability tests than others claim they require. Perhaps Spool is just extremely bad at testing? Certainly, his protocol for testing as described in his previous paper on this subject is so flawed as to be comic.

Ron Zeno | May 05, 2003



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