In order to study a group of, for example, prisoners, patients or gang members, researchers must immerse themselves in the group’s way of life. But the trade-off in terms of understanding may be loss of objectivity and a dangerous over-identification with the people being studied.
Prototype Concorde 001 had only been proven in simulator form in the spring of 1969 and the first flight in Toulouse was the first time that the design and engineering team saw her in the air. It also became a media event with live coverage on BBC Television.
Assistant Pilot John Cochrane and Chief Flight Engineer John Allen describe the build up to the day and the sense of excitement.
So, can usability experts and creatives live in peace? "We did hire a usability expert once, but found they added very little to our process. Unless our creative people understand usability, how can they design sites?" asks Margaret Manning, chief executive at agency Reading Room.
This is what happens when the Marketeers get their hands on usability.
(Margaret Manning is on the Committe that is defining the Usability Standards for UK Government Websites.)
The usability people are playing into their hands by putting the brand before the users.
"There's no point in having something people can use if it doesn't inspire to be interested in the product or engage them with the brand," argues Julie Howell, campaigns officer (accessible internet), at the RNIB.
How can anyone who calls themself "Head of User Experience" get away with saying something like this!
"One of most unusable sites, yet one of the most successful, is eBay," says Paul Dawson, head of user experience at Conchango.
If usability people think they have problems working with us programmers, then wait until you get one of these fellow 'professionals' on your team.
"It was grim, it was grim for me, grim for TB and there is this huge stuff about trust."
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