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Tuesday, August 12

Big org goes guerilla

At # 7 in my 'ten point plan' is cheaper usability methods. This means so-called guerilla usability, as championed by Jakob et al — and resisted by the 'experts'.

Just to elaborate, this doesn't mean the expert have no role, Shit, no. Just that we (egov) can't always afford them. So applying 'usability' in practice has to mean systematic engagement with audience and specific engagement with experts rather than handing over everyrthing to experts. And the only way to do that is to use guerrilla methods. My (debated at length) bone with Nomensa.

So let's just say I was 'most pleased' to read that my favourite 'internet radio station' used self-described 'guerilla' methods to interrogate their new designs. did it. Worth shitloads to US MSM did this. Guerilla HCI is mainstream, proven methodology.

Grabbing a seat at the nearest café with wifi, I arranged to meet a few people in the area (long-time users who’ve been with us for years; new users still discovering what we do; friends and relatives; random people off the street; anyone with a spare twenty minutes, really) to show them and watch them having a play with it. Loose, informal user testing — or, to use its technical term, ‘chatting to and watching people try out our new ideas over some free coffee and cake’ — is fascinating, great fun to do, and, combined with our other feedback-recording methods, as I believe Mr. Matthew Ogle, Esq. will discuss, reveals fantastically rich layers of information that really help us improve the experience.
Doh! Yeah, this has 'value'. Doh! Yeah, you need basic people skills to conduct. Doh! Yeah, it yields "fantastically rich layers of information". Doh! Yeah, it's not as easy as it looks but you can learn how to do it. Basically, PEOPLE engagement is the key. Geeks locked away from audience ain't good. Guerrilla usability is but one tool to get over the barriers, force people to truly engage, and break the cycle. It's all good. It'd not complicated and doesn't require complication.

And this has no relevance to egov?


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