Jared Spool has a new article at User Interface Engineering, “The Top 3 Priorities of the Talking Horse.
It could be that your site (or part of your site) is a talking horse. Is everyone focusing on just “making it work”?
There is the partial jab at Jakob Nielsen’s discount usability (although Jakob never uses “discount”).
Once the team knows the users’ tasks, they can look for places where support problems can appear. Unfortunately, we’ve found that inexpensive techniques such as design inspections or heuristic evaluations rarely identify these issues accurately. Teams are better off conducting rigorous, task-based, usability testing. Testing is a better approach to help identify where problems will originate.
I know, the contrast between the linked-to article and the quote is slight. But my perception is colored by this cartoon comparing Nielsen and Spool to leaders of opposing gangs. Humor in the usability world.
I’m starting one project where I’d like to get to the “talking horse” phase!
I’m old enough to have a clue who Mr. Ed was, but I never saw the show. Spool is wise to start of his essay with a longer explanation of his horse analogy. Mr. Ed hasn’t made a comeback, as far as I know, even in the world of digital cable.