Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Is Usability a Public Relations problem?

Looking at outside sources for user feedback ...

"It will be if you don't do something about it.

At Experience Dynamics, (a Portland, Oregon usability consultancy) we recently helped one of our Fortune 10 clients with some usability testing on a product that was actively being improved for usability.

The client pointed us to a blog entitled "Worst Experience Ever" where the blogger recited his experience with the actual process the program manager was interested in usability testing. This blogger's posting had drawn the attention of the entire product team (yes, they are listening- keep writing). So, we tracked down the blogger and invited him to participate in our usability test. Needless to say, our client and the blogger were both delighted! As it turned out the blogger and other users were experiencing the same problems- he just had the wherewithal to write about it. The outcome was positive for both the end-user (a customer and fan) and the program manager who was able to directly include this user in the usability testing.

This is an interesting case of how the web can put you in touch with your users directly.

Bottom Line: Look to bulletin boards, forums, blogs, private and analyst reviews (and user comments on both) for input and feedback about weak areas with your product, brand, website or feature offerings. User researchers are now studying these information sources for leads into user thoughts, opinions and perceptions relating to product usability-- what is now dubbed "virtual ethnography"."    (Continued via Demystifying Usability)    [Usability Resources]

Word of Mouth - Usability, User Interface Design

Word of Mouth


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