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User Testing Is Largely Pointless

Aug 19, 2010, 09:02 (8 Talkback[s])

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"This post earlier reminded me of something I have been thinking about for a long time. For years usability languished in the FOSS world due to a combination of elitism and the belief that it was just a theme-pack away. As a result most FOSS projects are riddled with massive usability problems. It appears now that this problem has been noticed and is starting to get addressed, which is good. The problem is how it is getting addressed.

"The solution, unfortunately, appears to be user testing and the creation of all sorts of fancy monitoring programs, testing suites, eye tracking and other such nonsense... Sure some points are valid and useful, especially in regards to wording and language but the majority of the points are obvious to anyone who understands usability – and large amounts of the issues are not even related to the designated target audience. Just because experts are more capable of dealing with crap usability it does not mean that it is 'for experts'."

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