If it ain't broke, fix it anyway

Date of publication: February 3, 2002


This paper examines the increasing use of usability studies to aid the development of new media products and services - predominantly websites - and looks at whether the growing distinction of usability as a discipline in itself is counter-productive to today's requirement to provide more holistic and integrated marketing research services. Specifically we look at how usability is conducted both by ourselves and other agencies, and look at the consequences of sacrificing broader user testing studies and NPD research to focus on ensuring perfect functionality of product through isolated usability testing. The end point of the presentation is not to argue against usability studies, but to break down the barriers that are being increasingly erected between usability and research experts. A truly usable product - with market potential - will be the product of greater integration of usability and market research techniques.

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