- “It’s easy to use.”
- “The users like it.”
- “It’s fast."
Ask to help document the usability requirements for a new project. Work 1-on-1 with the person in charge of the vision and business requirements so you can will have a strong influence, and establish an understanding of your work.
Encourage open communication. Ask the project manager what success looks like and when you hear “it’s easy to use”, follow up with additional questions.
- “How would you define easy?”
- “How long should the primary task take?”
- “How much reduction in help desk calls would you like to see?”
Refer to measurable usability requirements from planning through release. Use the requirements as a basis for usability testing and iteration, tracking improvements along the way. When the project wraps, be part of the debrief session and present the results of this effort to the project team. Let them see how success can be measured quantitatively.
Imagine a project manager bragging:
- We cut call center costs by 35% by adding inline help to the application.
- Our employees are 20% more efficient when submitting a purchase requisition. This has freed up more than 3,500 work hours this year.
- We found that 27% of our customers abandoned the checkout process last year. After redesign, only 7% have failed to complete the purchase process.