First Rule of Usability. Don't listen to Users

An interesting article by Jakob Nielsen on usability. Here's a snippet:
  • Watch what people actually do.
  • Do not believe what people say they do.
  • Definitely don't believe what people predict they may do in the future.
We did some usability studies at Andyne which was very useful. We set up a video camera taping a beginner users using our product while we watched in another room. It was painful to watch, but after a few hours of this with a couple of users we had a list of simple changes which would greatly improve the usability of our product. Some of the problems that I remember could also have been 'solved' by using screencasts which are becoming quite popular.

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