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Preventing Usability Problems from the Get-go (19 Nov 2004)
We've studied the development practices of hundreds of organizations over the years, trying to identify how usability problems get introduced into designs. After all, it's not just enough to know how to spot a usability problem and remove it. What if we could've prevented it in the first place?

One pattern we noticed is what happens when design teams work on complex systems. For most teams, the first inclination is to focus on making a design that *works*. This is critical, because a design can't be usable until it works. So, this is a logical first priority.

Making a complex design work is difficult. Many designs today are either pushing a technological envelope or they are challenging the design team's skills. Getting the system to do what it needs to, both for the user and on the back end can take everything the team has.
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