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Uncovering Users In Your Own Organization (25 Jan 2005)
The User Centered Design process (Norman & Draper, 1980) is well-accepted, endorsed, and integrated into many software corporations. Users provide context, feedback, and validation to designs using a spectrum of methodologies ranging from contextual inquiries (Holtzblatt & Beyer, 1993) to usability benchmark studies. To do this type of research and design can take considerable time, resources, and financial investment. One of the most overlooked areas to inform user interface considerations is within our own companies. Corporate resources are seriously undervalued and underused, but are at our fingertips. As a first step, we should determine where usability issues are already being documented within our organizations and where they could be used to inform our design decisions.
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