Friday, May 12, 2006

Recruiting for Usability Testing

One of the biggest obstacles to a successful product is usability. Many of the most successful products in today's economy (e.g. Google and iPod) have their usability to credit largely for their success.

If you don't measure usability, you likely will not end up with a product that's easy to use. Measuring usability requires:
  1. Specifying the metrics by which you will measure usability.
  2. Continually testing your product to ensure it meets the measurable constraints you specify.
The first task is simply a matter of specifying usability requirements and acceptance criteria. You can accomplish the second task a number of ways, but perhaps the most effective is to recruit outside test users.

If you plan to recruit outside test users, check out this guide from Jakob Nielsen, "Recruiting Test Participants for Usability Studies".

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