Virtually everyone recognizes the need for software to be usable but standard software development practice usually does not follow a process which promotes the design and engineering of usability into a product. If usability is a real concern, then it must be specified as a requirement and designed/engineered into a product. This course examines what usability is and why it is virtually synonymous with quality. It then discusses and describes a development process for designing and engineering usability into a product.
The course covers usability requirements and specification, product prototyping and early evaluation, formal usability testing and post-release usability evaluation. It discusses the objectives and purposes of each of these phases as well as presenting an overview of techniques and methods to be employed at the various stages of the process. The objectives of this workshop are (1) to provide an understanding of the process required for specifying and engineering usability into a product and for evaluating a product's usability and (2) to enable the workshop participants to become knowledgeable champions of usability within their organization.