Further, the more fundamental cause is that usability evaluation has not been considered indispensable in Sony's product development process. So even if engineers want to do usability evaluation, their manager are unwilling to allow it. Our activities to promote QUIS lacked consideration for this problem. We realized that educating engineers, especially their managers, on the importance of usability evaluation beforehand was necessary to successfully introduce a usability evaluation tool, no matter how effective it was.
At the same time, however, we found that QUIS was a powerful tool to learn the viewpoints of usability evaluation: that is, how users interact with products and what prevents them from smooth interaction. Using QUIS, inspectors can simultaneously learn the viewpoints while answering each question. The engineers who finished the QUIS training course say that they can remember these points in designing user interfaces. Consequently QUIS is usable for training user interface designers.
Through introducing QUIS, we have learned that having engineers understand the importance of usability evaluation is one of our urgent tasks to incorporate usability evaluation into Sony's product development process. Now we are developing a curriculum of usability studies for the engineers and managers.
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Wharton, C., Bradford, J., Jefflies, R., and Franzke, M. ( 1992). "Applying cognitive walkthroughs to more complex user interfaces: Experiencies, issues, and recomendations". Proceedings ACM CHI'92 conference ( Monterey, CA, May 3-7, 1992): 381-388.
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