Why Don’t Usability Problems Get Fixed?

There are various reasons why usability problems exist in the first place—some simple and some complex. Identifying problems and recommending solutions is not always enough. Unfortunately, the same factors that cause problems in the first place also hinder their getting fixed. The following are some of the most common reasons why usability problems don’t get fixed.

  • Lack of Resources

o   No One Has the Skills to Fix Them
o   There Is a Lack of Time, Money, or Resources

  • Technical Limitations

o   Technical Limitations Make Changes Difficult
o   Vendor Software Is Difficult to Change

  • Organizational Culture

o   Poor Usability Is Accepted As the Norm
o   Political Issues Interfere with Improvements
o   Usability Problems Get Dismissed As Training Issues
o   Regulations and Security Issues Conflict with Usability

  • Communication Issues

o   Usability Recommendations Aren’t Always Well Explained
o   Misunderstandings Occur During Design and Development
o   There Is No Plan to Implement the Recommendations

  • No Easy Solution

Jim Ross‘s recommendations to ensure that UX teams follow up on problems:

  • Involve your project team in planning, observing, and discussing user research.
  • Before selecting enterprise software, evaluate its usability.
  • Consult your own technical resources to ensure your recommendations are feasible.
  • Present your recommendations to those who have the power to authorize their implementation.
  • Present your findings visually—through screenshots, images, and video clips.
  • Illustrate your recommendations using visuals.
  • When there isn’t an easy solution and further research may be necessary, admit it.
  • Prioritize your findings and recommendations by severity, so the project team can decide what to focus on first.
  • Recommend a plan for implementing your recommendations.
  • Stay involved throughout the design and development process to verify that your recommendations get implemented correctly.

Originally published on UX Matters.

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