revealed in the past how many of the Office 12 UI decisions we make are
influenced by what we learn in collaboration with our usability and research
Personally, I find usability tests scary. You have an idea, discuss it
with others, work it into a prototype and get excited about it. You want
it to work. And then you pull back the curtain, put the idea in front of
real people and all of a sudden you know whether the idea works for real or not.
It's totally humbling.
It's like when you're dieting--you can feel good about the food you eat or
exercise you do, but nothing brings it into focus like stepping on the scale and
facing the result. If the result is bad, it's back to the drawing board.
If the result is good, you set it aside, plan to retest, and start focusing on
where else you can improve.
Over the next weeks, I'm going to write in more detail about our usability and
research efforts around the Office 12 UI. To give you a taste, here's a
snapshot of all the special research projects we have getting started over the next
month or so. The following bullets are excerpted from a status e-mail
message written by Tim
Briggs, one of our usability leads.
Jensen here again. All of this is in addition to the normal ongoing
"behind two-way glass" usability tests that focus on individual mechanisms or
features. And of course it's added to all of the beta feedback we get through newsgroups, customer
visits, e-mail (and even here in blog comments!)
As you can see, we have a lot going on as we strive to learn more and more
about the UI and how to continue improving it. It's a large effort, but I
think it will be worth it.
I'll fill you in on the details of some of the more interesting studies in
the coming weeks.
Have a great weekend everyone!