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Usable Usability: Simple Steps for Making Stuff Better by Eric Reiss

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Chapter Eleven Next steps

Remember Bogo Vatovec’s three-step usability plan? I told you about it in the Introduction to this book. Here it is again if you skipped ahead:

  • Nobody talks about usability.
  • Everybody talks about usability.
  • Nobody talks about usability.

I’ll assume nobody is talking about usability in your company, but you just read a book and you’re feeling inspired. I’m also going to assume that when it comes to improving usability, you’re on your own, without help, without money, and with limited time. Here are some sad facts:

  • All “stuff” has usability problems.
  • There are never enough resources to fix the problems.

Accept this and move on. Don’t dwell on why something is lousy, but figure out how to make it better. You can do a lot of things on your own—and if you can get your design team motivated, all the better. If you can get the big bosses to understand that “there’s gold in them thar tests . . .” that’s gold indeed!1

1 Dahlonega, Georgia was where the first U.S. gold rush took place in 1828. Dahlonega Mint assayer Dr. M. F. Stephenson is famously misquoted as having said, “There’s gold in them thar hills,” to miners headed for California in 1849. He was referring to his own hills, of course, in an attempt to keep the local mines open and himself employed.

Guerilla-style usability

Now that you’ve read this book, here’s how to put it to practical use.

First, with your particular “stuff” in mind, take another look at the 10 lists that conclude each chapter. ...

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