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Luser Testing

One usability testing lab draws a refreshing conclusion: Users are stupid.

InformationWeek Staff

January 3, 2002

1 Min Read

"A lot of businesses have gone out of business because their users were too stupid," says Dr. Randolph Bias, co-founder of Austin Usability, a Web-site usability test lab.

Consumers may be smart in other things, but generally they're not knowledgeable about computer programming, says Bias. That's a main reason why online businesses fail, according to the cognitive psychologist. "The software developers can't imagine how ignorant and uncaring we users are about their cool technology. We just have a task to perform. I just want to buy a shirt," he says.

According to Bias, customers should be led through an ordering process. They shouldn't have to worry about looking at different Web pages to seek out appropriate information. "Amazon.com does a great job of leading a visitor through an order," he says.

Bias offers usability services for small to medium businesses. For about $10,000, Bias will put together a group of typical users, run simulations, write a usability report, and make suggestions to create a more consumer-friendly site.

What site usability "features" drive you crazy? Share your opinion in the Talk Shop discussion forum.

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