Devan Goldstein is a writer and user experience consultant living with his wife in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has conducted expert reviews, heuristic evaluations, usability testing, and other kinds of qualitative studies for scores of clients, including Johnson Controls, PNC Bank, and Heinz. He owes a debt of gratitude to Erica Deitzel for a decade of mentorship in the kinds of work discussed in this article.
Contributions by Devan Goldstein
To be sure we're designing the right experience for the right audience, there's no substitute for research conducted with actual users. Like any research method, though, usability testing has its drawbacks. Most importantly, it isn't cheap. Fortunately, there are other usability research methods at our disposal. The standouts, expert review and heuristic evaluation, are easy to add to a design and development process almost regardless of budget or resource concerns. Explore these techniques, learn their advantages and disadvantages, and get the low-down on how to include them in your projects.