I encourage everyone to follow our progress. I'm planning to post each "assignment" on my blog every week. I figure this will help others who might want to apply to OPW in future years, so they can "follow along" with what we are doing. Or, if you have more experience in usability testing, feel free to leave a comment on our work.
As we get started with week 1, discuss your initial thoughts on usability. Some questions that should help guide you:
- What does "usability" mean to you?
- Can you find (Google?) a definition of "usability"?
- Some researchers in this area make a distinction between "big U" Usability and "small u" usability - why is that, and how are they different?
- What are we trying to get out of "usability"?
These are great questions to start off our usability project. I find it's a good idea to create this "baseline" for first impressions about the topic, and you can expand on that as you go.
A few references that you might consider in discussing this topic:
- "Current Issues of Usability Characteristics and Usability Testing" (Ayobami, Hector, Hammed, 2012)
- "Usability Testing Demystified" (Chisnell, 2009)
- "Usability Evaluation Basics" (usability.gov)
You might also review "What is usability?" from my capstone "Usability Themes in Open Source Software" (Hall, 2014).
You are welcome to follow our usability project!
image: Outreach Program for Women