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This chapter is from the book


This chapter took you through the steps needed to create a business case for good user design, usability design, and usability testing. The chapter began with a discussion about why you should include usability studies when you develop your user interface.

Next, the section on gaps between stakeholders discussed who the stakeholders are when it comes to your user interface design. This section also discussed the expectations that each stakeholder has regarding the interface and the outcomes from good interface design, as well as usability design and testing.

Then the chapter discussed building a business case framework and the five-step user experience process that you should build your business case around. You know that the process starts with the business goals and then factors in the customer goals. The appropriate project team members design the user interface or documentation, and then the team participates in the testing process to acquire feedback. The testers' goals are satisfied after testing, and that satisfaction leads to the satisfaction of your customer and business goals.

The section on the case for profitability listed eight guidelines for ensuring that your argument for usability studies will win over the skeptics and help your company's bottom line. The first and most important guideline is to drive the design and development of the user interface and usability design closely against the business case. You also need to bring your team members on board with the effort and share information with them constantly. You and your team need to know what the customer's needs, tasks, and goals are. From that information, you can create a scalable user experience that only adds features that blend value for the customer and value for the company. As you meet your design goals, you must make one person responsible for measuring the success of your design.

A discussion of calculating the return on investment for your usability studies followed, which is crucial to your making a valid business case for good user interface design, usability design, and usability testing. You learned how to use the net present value amount equation to calculate the ROI percentage return so you can present this return to your stakeholders and justify the usability study.

The chapter ended with a discussion of the ongoing process of usability testing and the Usability Engineering Life Cycle that places your usability testing inside a rigorous and ongoing process. Then you can incorporate the costs of that ongoing process into other product development as well as your product if it will have future releases.

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