September 16, 2002
To save costs, some companies are outsourcing Web projects to countries with cheap labor. Unfortunately, these countries lack strong usability traditions and their developers have limited access -- if any -- to good usability data from the target users.
December 31, 2001
Usability is a well-paying profession these days: A usability specialist in California with five years' experience had an estimated cash compensation of $90,118 a year in 2001, not counting stock options or other benefits. This number is at the high end of our detailed survey, which analyzes salary data from 1,078 professionals who attended the User Experience World Tour from November 2000 to April 2001. The survey respondents represent a response rate of 40% of the 2,682 conference attendees. Because we surveyed people at a high-end professional conference, the data probably reflects the salaries of good user experience professionals.
May 27, 2001
A survey of 1,078 user experience professionals finds that usability specialists make more money than designers and writers in the same field. In all three areas, salaries are highest in the U.S., lower in Canada and Asia, and much lower in Europe and Australia.
March 4, 2001
Never listen to what people say in response to a survey: asking high-tech employees what will keep them in their jobs provides very different answers than the factors that actually drive retention.
June 28, 1998
Web design is a core competency for the network economy and should not be outsourced, even though certain specific components may be outsourced.
June 15, 1997
Web project management impacts usability significantly. Mistakes include having site structure mirror your orgchart, outsourcing to multiple agencies, generic links from offline collateral, and lack of strategic thinking
October 1, 1995
You need to hire someone to design your Web site. What should you look for before signing on the dotted line? Let's look at a few different types of consultants.
November 1, 1993
In 4 case studies, the median usability improvement was 165% from the first to the last iteration, and the median improvement per iteration was 38%. Iterating through at least 3 versions of a UI design is recommended, since some usability metrics may decrease in some versions if a redesign has focused on improving other parameters.
Nielsen, J. (1993). Iterative user interface design. IEEE Computer 26, 11 (November), 32-41.
April 28, 1991
User interface standards can be hard to use for developers. In a laboratory experiment, 26 students achieved only 71% compliance with a two page standard; many violations were due to influence from previous experience with non-standard systems. In a study of a real company's standard, developers were only able to find 4 of 12 deviations in a sample system, and three real products broke between 32% and 55% of the mandatory rules in the standard. Designers were found to rely heavily on the examples in the standard and their experience with other user interfaces.
Thovtrup, H., and Nielsen, J. (1991). Assessing the usability of a user interface standard. Proc. ACM CHI'91 Conf. Human Factors in Computing Systems (New Orleans, LA, 28 April-2 May), 335-341.