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ODT: Usability Transfer Potential Part One


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ODT: Usability Transfer Potential Part One

  1. 1. "Usability Transfer Test - Potential:“ Testing usability enables companies to optimize their CRM through optimizing concrete user experience situations and goals. Through testing different user scenarios there will be a concrete know how growth in this company testing its user orientation. How can usability be used more efficient, how can it be used in different and new ways and structures? How can usability testing been used extended or more efficient? For example: How can a user acceptance & experience tester for websites also been used and his potential give extending new potential? Defining this issue may result the concept of detecting and maximizing companies usability testing "transfer potential". A potential often not only not used but often not even recognized as an existing and concrete usable development possibility. Introduction & background of "usability transfer potential": Usability testers live and discuss usability in daily things life. Their testing experience in the same way as their view of the interface world. Living usability is thinking in usability ways. Testers also live their different interactions with products, computers and interfaces. Human computer interaction for example has changed from a pure text based interaction giving an command for the program result goal into the DOS - Commandline to a graphical multi tasking program usability and web based interfaces. This interaction will surely have different test methods, ways of thinking, user tasks and criterias as in each development stage of HCI over the years. We might detect this different tasks and ways of thinking in each interaction-expression of these developments. As usability and our usability approach is changing we develop a new view with each new interface we use. Further on experienced testers as non experienced tester may recognize usability issues all over their daily life things and also in their daily life computer interaction processes. Using a handy will bring naturally popping up usability ideas to usability view centered heads.
  2. 2. Many times this ideas will not be used or change anything. Usability transfer potential starts at this point and tries to define, what exactly the usage & concrete preferences in any kind of transfer in usability testing may be. Possibly existing models and concepts try to grab this potential as new concept will enable to use this potential more effectively. If my impression is right, this discussion may be in the backheads of some usability experts but is not fully discussed and realized in its effectiveness. Discussing and developing usability: Discussing usability with experts normally results a bunch of new ideas and visions. While testing games & mobile solutions in transferring usability from web and software area to computer games and its possibly player experience called user satisfaction I found, that many testers are generally enabled to transfer their usability methods & knowledge successfully into new testing fields and areas. Human capital is expensive and as usability is a way of thinking, a structure of thinking, a critical usage optimization way of seeing interfaces and things in general, it may be used in transferring it. This could be described as potential, a general available potential transferring usability into different directions & meaning. Just scanning usability discussions on different boards & networks will show, that usability fields have many intersections, many different expressions for sometimes one and the same issue and a lot of potential in a connection and exchange of this different sections or transferring from one to the other section. Tester all over the world will receive hundreds of job offerings and hundreds of "not exactly" matching test offers and projects, cause the test project is not exactly in the field, the tester has build up his main competence or experience. From my own experience - it fascinating how usability can effectively be tested in new fields & platforms & situations and how usefull this may be in most cases - many user experience testers and usability labs do not use this and their potential. It is not, that usability people are not able or willing to test different & new interfaces and areas, it is more, that usability people may simply not do what they possibly could do to their benefit, cause never thinling about how to transfer or cuase of the lack of need to transfer usability. Not realized
  3. 3. usability transfer need and potential is often also a loss of innovation, concrete potential and development opportunity, cause usability transfer can be one additional key to change and innovate interfaces, existing HCI - solutions and usability methods or testing attitudes. And even from a "not very deep but quick view" to the market many business as usability analysts would agree on the general existence of this transfer potential. It seems as if there is obviously something like a huge not used intellectual "Usability Transfer Potential" in usability test industry and many business fields. What exactly is usability transfer potential? The critical success factor of this idea and concept is, that usability is not a learned ability in the first meaning but a paradigma, a way of thinking. It is not like programming, it is a way of feeling things, a way of looking to the human in the intersection consequently and first. Testing experience description and sharing this experience also uses this potential and exists through the human capital in testers mind. It pushes a new development and innovation as it enable to profit from the knowledge of others. Why not making more and more structured use of this potential? After a generally approximation of this potential we need to define the concept of transfer and its concrete potential more concrete and practically I guess. An good example from business is the well known situation of a new company worker starting his job in an existing business. He will be enthusiastic and free in doing everything to do his job successful and will question a lot of things, work flow, structures and things related to the product and work. The concept of transfer is most time only defined and resulted through the ability to adapt existing knowledge to new fields. It is most of time not defined in usability context when the adoption process itself results a bunch - a huge bunch (!) - of new ideas, recommendations and methodical issues, which help to optimize the new field. Even in the possible error we see the potential of transferring things. Cause the error may be a real
  4. 4. innovation cause it simply questions the work attitude or solution, the principle, the unwritten specific industry law. What different aspects do we find in an usability transfer potential? This article will only be a "kick off" discussing or modifying or structuring usability transfer issues and discussion, I am convinced, this is a future business issue and that we find analyzing this issue full of hundreds of more concrete and more detailed aspects, potential criterias and solutions making use out of this transfer potential. 1. The potential of not being blind and experienced Usability and general work has a naturally given and existing potential. When people for example intuitively do a new job or an existing job in a new area or field with new methods or testing new methods in itself, this potential is set free. Often through mistakes and often through and in its learning process. Comparable to company blindness killing many good start ups or old traditional businesses the transfer potential describes the positive potential for people, not living in the danger to be blinded through their work approach and experience. A not blinded usability transferring tester of interfaces may detect more ideas than the experienced one through the transfer - process itself, cause he has a different & not blinded user & tester view, a different not negatively experienced attitude, a not blinded user view into this area. 2. The potential of methodical extension and transfer User experience testing in different areas has a different history and has changed in many details. Although usability has grown as an overall discipline it has its specific methods and and approaches. Transferring this methods, modifying and testing them will result new methods, new criterias
  5. 5. and new over all principles or approaches. We have different methods and standard problems or hindrances grown on different ways with different focus in each area like mobile, software, web or for example games. As sure as the day follows every night there are many non rational and non user centered things and methods, test software usage and others in each of this areas. A transfer and usability tested through and in transferring principles and usability norms from another field will detect much easier these critical methodical problems, as the normal development and methodical innovation process will result. In the process of a new usability tester testing learning his business in his area we also see this learning and transfer potential optimizing methods, workflow and extensions. This method optimization potential is found in both directions, the new testing field may inspire the old testing field and its methods as the old field and its positive things inspires the new field from a testers viewpoint I guess. 3. The human capital build up transfer potential The experienced as the not experienced tester is in any case "pure success relating human capital" for himself and his organization, company or usability test lab. To build up own flexibility and something like and allrounder test skill and the ability to transfer test issues, heuristic evaluation criterias and ISO - Norms into new interaction scenes of human computer or human product interaction is something, which is very important for a holistic and user centered test heart, test attitude. Not even to see not the principle but the human in the principle might be one result (effective and realized in all test projects in the end) of usability transfer testing school the transferring testing is running through, but it is simply the agility, the mind freshness, the inner test ability and in the end also the fascination of usability, the enthusiasm companies and usability evangelists as strategist will see growing in their teams. Enabling usability testers to innovate and create, to make a change, to be part of something new and whatever is sometimes even critical motivation factor to keep a good usability person on board. 4. The potential of ideas for the origin and main competence field in testing Testing on new fields is like the well known usability evangelist speaking about daily life usability, we all love this examples cause these help to communicate usability to the people paying our bills. Transfer enables retransfer in most cases, this may be seen as an even more important issue than the fact that transfer will give a chance to innovation potential. Real
  6. 6. innovations need a complete new view, sometimes the new test situations changes the old viewpoint cause a tester will simply think about something he has never thought before. Like in self learning exploring system usability transfer will enable many testers to better up their companies old viewpoint through simply innovation for the field, where the tester has its origin. Not only the field the transfer has its direction but also the origin has it´s innovation potential. ….... (End of extract from the whole discussion)