I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to share the work of UPA’s Usability in the Enterprise project with the broader usability community.
This issue of UX is the culmination of nearly three years of work by more than 100 members of the UPA family. The objective of our research is also the objective of this issue: to explore effective ways to communicate the tangible and measurable effects of user-experience work on the success of a business. In our efforts, we try not to dwell in the anecdotal or domain-specific, and we remind ourselves to constantly check for extraneous variables and other affronts to validity. We strive to communicate with our “powers-that-be” using the language of business, in the context of the objectives and goals of the business, instead of getting bogged down in the inane and trivial.
This issue offers three articles that embody the theme of “The Business of Usability”. Arnie Lund offers an historical perspective about how he has positioned his work strategically within a number of different large corporations. Michelle Peterson presents two case studies in which she attempted to measure an increase in business performance as the result of user experience improvements. Susan Wolfe, Sarah Bloomer, and Lori Landesman provide some effective strategies for positioning user-experience strategy within an organization. Their work will also be showcased in a tutorial at UPA 2007 called “The Business of Usability: A Tutorial for Managers, Directors, and Team Leaders”. If these articles don’t move you to start talking about usability from a business perspective, make sure to check out Bill Jensen’s call to action in the “View from Here”.
I sincerely hope you enjoy the issue!