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Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests, Second Edition by Jeffrey Rubin, Dana Chisnell, Jared Spool

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Chapter 14. Expanding from Usability Testing to Designing the User Experience

Up to this point, we have covered the technical aspects of planning, designing, conducting, and reporting the results of a usability test in great detail. We have also placed usability testing within the context of a user-centered approach to product development. In this final chapter, let's revisit the larger picture and discuss how to expand the influence of user-centered design and user experience design within an organization. These suggestions are primarily intended for an individual who has been given (or would like to take) primary responsibility for usability within his or her organization, with minimal formal training in user-centered design.

We suggest a phased program, extending over years, to emphasize the need to build such a program gradually. Let's be very clear: Implementing a user-centered approach to product development for organizations that have not embraced such a program previously is a major undertaking, fraught with the same difficulties, risks, excitement, and political intrigue of any major shift in the corporate culture. It requires much forethought and attention to the "human" issues within your own organization. However, depending on the degree of management support and the amount of resources assigned to usability, you may want to move faster or slower, implement these suggestions in a different order, or avoid those that simply do not make sense for your organization. The ...

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