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CUE: A Usability Testing Bake-Off (19 Aug 2005)
Practicing usability testing has great similarities with baking an apple pie.

If you've never baked a pie and you're like most people, you'll probably learn from a friend or family member, such as Grandma, or you'll learn from a cookbook recipe or TV cooking show. The first few pies you bake—while still tasting pretty good—probably won't come out as good as you'd like, but, with practice, you'll get better and better.

As you continue to practice, you'll experiment—sometimes deliberately and sometimes through creative accidents, like leaving out a key ingredient—and from each experiment you'll learn more about what makes a great pie. As your pie baking skills become more developed, people will beg you to bake more pies and will show great excitement when another one comes out of the oven.

At least, that's been my experience with baking apple pies. Also, coincidentally, it's been my experience with usability testing.
Article URL: http://www.uie.com/articles/usability_testing_bakeoff/

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