[consulting] A defense for new users

Robert Castelo robert.castelo at cortextcommunications.com
Fri Feb 24 23:15:39 UTC 2006

as developers most of us aren't too familiar with usability surveys, or 
how to interpret survey results. If you want to convince the developer 
community I think you'll have to present your conclusions in formats 
they can quickly and easily understand - wireframes and menu outlines 
will do nicely.

I also think many of us are wary of surveys, user testing, and focus 
groups. Even multinationals with millions of dollars to pour into 
consumer surveys can get it spectacularly wrong....

Here's a link to Malcolm Gladwell reading from his last book, 'Blink', 
giving the examples of New Coke and how Coke's market research misled 
them, and the development of Herman-Miller's Aeron chair, the 
best-selling chair in the history of office chairs, which succeeded in 
spite of research that suggested it would be a complete failure.

Malcolm Gladwell

I'm not suggesting your research is wrong - just pointing out that it's 
possible for consumer surveys to lead products in completely the wrong 
direction, no matter how expert the people carrying them out, the scale 
of testing, or the budgets spent.

My understanding of usability testing and surveys is that they can be a 
useful for identifying problems.

Once we identify a problem we can start discussing what the best 
solution is.

Where would be the best place to present your conclusions and have an 
on-going discussion about Drupal usability?

Best regards,

Robert Castelo
Services Manager
Cortext Communications


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