Learning through making

Earlier in the year I had the good fortune of presenting to a class from the University of Technology, Sydney’s Interaction Design course. As someone who occasionally hires designers, experience in user testing and a sincere integration of users in the design process is what makes candidates stand out. Why? Because this is what reduces errors, minimizes IT and build change requests and helps ensure users can understand and use our products. It’s a mistake to think something has to be detailed and almost production ready to be tested. Test ideas, test sketches, test digital, test services. Test early, iteratively and often.

Usability in mainstream news

Usability war stories hit the news twice yesterday. The first report detailed a software project gone bad in NSW hospital emergency departments. Its worth reading for its examples of non-existent user research practices, and the clear failing to gather the requirements and define the business rules specific to the audience and environment the software was designed to operate in. One can only assume there was no quality assurance testing to boot.