Usability Thoughts & Assignment

This week we learned about the differences between in production usability tests and end of production usability tests.  (Called Formative & Summative tests respectively by usability folks).  This is an interesting difference as it makes you stop and think when you should use either test type, and the benefits or drawbacks of each depending on the situation.  Which when I stop and think about it is almost like conducting a usability test on usability test techniques.

This weeks assignment was also interesting so I’ve decided to include it here.  Our fictional audience for the project were the CEO and CTO of a online pizza company.  I attempted to make the report as usable for them as possible while still making my case for which usability test type to use.  Needless to say you have to think a lot about usability when you want to be a usability professional. 🙂

summative-vs-formative-presentation (PDF)

What I think I really discovered during this project was that if you have the time, budget, and ability you should do both kinds of usability tests…or more.  The more information you can gather on usability the better you can tune your product to serve your customers and that is always a plus.


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