Despite compelling evidence of the benefits of employing user centered design methods to produce more usable products, most development activity in Europe does not use these methods, with the result that most computer systems are unnecessarily difficult to use. UsabilityNet will provide a web site and support network to assist organisations with usability, user centered design and process improvement.
The project is composed of partners that are world-leaders in usability, supported by sub-contractors in 11 other countries. It will identify the requirements of European industry and organise a workshop to obtain broad consensus on good practice. This will form the basis for a web site of global and local resources derived from previous projects including MUSiC, INUSE, RESPECT, Baseline, TRUMP, EMMUS and other sources.
Topics covered will include how to: identify user needs and specify usability requirements; incorporate user centered design methods in the development process, make use of international standards, test whether a product meets usability requirements; assess usability maturity; and produce a business case for usability and calculate the cost-benefits.
The web site will be supported by one or two day tutorials on usability and user centered design: four open tutorials and tutorials held at IST and other conferences. An email discussion group and help service will be established. UsabilityNet will set up local groups to organise meetings in at least 12 countries, to enable people working in usability or interested in usability to share experience and expertise. A European organisation will be set up to support the groups and maintain the web site after the end of UsabilityNet.
Funding SchemeACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures
164 80 Stockholm