Why not ask for *opinions*? (was "The oldPlay/Pause toggle")
11 Aug 2006 - 6:12pm
10 years ago
I'd like to cast 100 votes in support of Christopher's argument. For every
100 requests that begin..."Does anyone know of a study..." how many times
does the list offer a high-fidelity response? I'd estimate less than 5%, for
reasons Christopher explains. This is a highly inventive and expanding field
and will be so for a long time. Chances are that long before empirical
studies isolate many issues, they will be resolved by "patterns" found on
the top 50 sites and apps.
Mark, your implication that testing should somehow displace expertise (if I
understood it correctly), confuses me. If testing were the
best path to answers, then we should be able to test our way to
profitability. The whole essence of "patterns" is that the same problem is
frequently tackled twice, no?
A more literal answer to the "Why..." question is "because people believe
that numerical evidence constitutes fact." Certainly in many domains the
relationship is unassailable. But in our domain, I think it's often
diminishing returns. (I like
to say that numbers are "numb-ers.") Let me put it this way: someone who
needs Fitts' Law to know that small, distant targets are hard to hit might
make a great manager, but is unlikely to make a good designer.
> Because heuristic evaluations (that means "in my professional opinion > based on all of my experience"), though they may well solve some > problems, are short cuts.
The same is true with a published study, if
> the constraints and conditions are not precisely the same. That is > why it pays to test nearly every stage with USERS even though in > inevitably slows the dev process and pisses off the business or > product managers. Defining the problem is usually 90% of the work. > Rarely do designers solve the exact same problem twice. > > Mark