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  Friday, May 2, 2003

Had one of those WTF moments today when I was asked to provide some metrics out of the blue in the name of "improving quality." No definition of quality, no real context, just "improve quality." I asked, "How will we know when we get there?" No answer yet. Not holding my breath.
10:04:49 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

PeopleSoft CEO rewarded on bad year. Business-software maker PeopleSoft saw the value of its stock tumble by more than 50 percent in 2002, but the company gave CEO Craig Conway a massive pay increase. [CNET]

Meanwhile, the previously announced 200 layoffs hit our department today: we're down one more writer in a year with more projects, more demands for quality, and fewer writers. See also next post.

9:58:12 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

Larry Constantine summarizes a panel from CHI 2003 that I attended, in which the discussion revolved around just how much usability testing is enough; the summary is excellent, as was the discussion.

CHI 2003 Feature: Testing... 1 2 3 4 5 ... Testing... (Usability News) -- "The most impassioned advocacy came from... [WebWord]

By the end of the panel, as I recall, it was apparent that the panelists largely agreed: more testing, iteratively, is better.

Additional linkage on the same:

Constantine on the Magic Number 5 panel at CHI. At Usability News Larry Constantine gives a great rundown of the Magic Number 5 panel from CHI. The panel tackled the long accepted discount usability notion that 5 users will uncover 80% of the defects.

Usability testing seems to be the perceived gold standard for sites - one colleague called it the 'holy grail'. But as the panel showed, 5 users and the discount approach have some serious drawbacks.

I also find it pretty amusing that usability diehard Rolf Molich is suggesting a potential end for usability testing, while Cooper (who has long dismissed usability testing) now offers training and courses in same. [ia/ - information architecture news]

9:45:01 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

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