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What is usability research?

Usability research covers a variety of techniques that evaluate products from the point of view of customers and target users.  The goal of usability research is to improve ease of use and user satisfaction.

Usability research can contribute very early on to product concept development by investigating user needs and desires.  As products get built, usability testing can discover and resolve issues that get in the way of what users want or need to do with the product.

Find out more about usability techniques on the Services page, or view samples of usability proposals and findings.

Why do products need usability research?

The major customer complaint about many computer products is that they are too difficult to use.  Usability research provides the necessary tools to end user frustration and dissatisfaction, by observing users as they try out products -- and doing these observations early enough to make changes before release to the public.  Nothing can take the place of watching real people attempt to get something done with your product.

Usability research has been proven to be cost-effective, by catching and fixing problems before products require major overhauls or even recalls.  Products don't need to be finished or even built before testing with users -- usability techniques can test designs even on paper with users.

For more information on techniques and a description of paper prototype testing, please go to the Services page.

Why use Libby for usability research?

Using a professional for usability research offers several advantages.  I have a proven track record for providing highly relevant and useful data on user behavior.  I make it easy to apply research results by focusing on what is doable for a product, in line with schedule, budget and design constraints.  I can step in quickly to meet immediate needs, or offer long-term consultation to support ongoing usability efforts.

My expertise in usability and psychological research ensures valid and dependable findings.  Random observations of users can raise a lot of questions about why they behave the way they do -- my data and expertise can answer those questions to inform product design.     

Find out more about my background on the Experience page.

Contact me at libbyh@earthlink.net

 

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Last modified: November 21, 2004