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Lifecycle Order:

Usual development stage: Online usability tests can be run...
  • Starting as soon as a prototype is built enough so that it can be posted online for a focused or worldwide review by its target audience.
  • Examples: Cisco Systems and Agilent Technologies

What this is: Worldwide online usability tests provide rapid and cost effective feedback from 25 to 200 users:

  • Instead of testing a handful or users in one city, include users from the geographic regions and target markets your Web site, application or product serves.
  • The downside: Some important detail is lost. You can't see real users perform each step. You can't hear them "thinkaloud" or learn their mental models.
  • The upside: Turnaround remains fast, but scale and scope move from a test in 1 city to your users worldwide.
  • The bottom line: Worldwide online usability works well, but it's different and you need to use each type of usability test and process for the right reasons.

A full worldwide online framework may include:

  • Usability Testing Framework:
    • Includes re-usable task lists, metrics, test flows and test scripts.
    • Major acceleration in testing speed.
    • Substantial scope increase for the number and range of tests run.
    • Substantial scale increase in user participation (from 1 city to worldwide, from a small number of users to 25 or 50+ users per test)
    • Sizable decline in cost per test, so the same budget supports a much larger and faster program.
  • Usability Reporting Framework:
    • Usability Web site for rapid access to usability program findings and resources.
    • Systematic dashboard-based reporting for a program-wide user performance summary.
    • Usability guidelines for developers, developed from and driven by test findings
    • How-to processes so teams can run worldwide usability tests frequently, quickly and cheaply.
  • Accelerated Startup and Rollout:
    • Have a full initial framework built in 1 to 2 months, including 1 to 5 online tests.
    • Scale to a large systematic program in 1 to 2 months more.
  • Usability Dashboard for Continuous Tracking and Reporting:
    • Results from Framework Usability Tests can be delivered through an online Usability Dashboard.
    • At-a-glance reporting of current statistics such as:
      • User Success for each area tested
      • Key Metrics (including both direct metrics and derived metrics such as user productivity)
      • Users' Top Priorities
      • Most Frequent Top Problems (the latest 2 quarters' top usability problems, in frequency order; with direct links to developers' usability guidelines, which are developed from and driven by test findings)
    • 1-Click Drilldown to Reports (one-click access to the latest report from each test)

Key knowledge questions: Companies increasingly depend on the Web and their corporate networks to deliver information, services, applications and capabilities worldwide to customers, trading partners, suppliers and employees.

  • It is becoming essential to interactively measure the performance and success of users worldwide, to identify and prioritize the improvements needed to produce high-value successes throughout your organizations.
  • A worldwide online usability framework provides global tracking and reporting of usage, success and satisfaction with critical tasks, business processes and priority user needs. It can continuously report users' problems, the status of critical business objectives, and the improvements that are needed to achieve critical business objectives.

A worldwide online usability framework confirms that improving worldwide user performance can and should become a continuous core business process that increases your and your users' success, as well as your company's competitive advantages.

How to get it right: Contact us.


Breakthrough Usability