Archive for May, 2012


May 6th, 2012 1 comment


UPA slidesUPDATE – June 11th: The results of our survey about why serious usability problems often go unfixed–and our own theories–are now online in our slides from last week’s UPA (or is it UXPA?) at SlideShare. Thanks again to everyone who responded to the survey!


Caroline Jarrett and I are doing a session at the UPA conference in June (in beautiful, oppressively hot downtown Las Vegas) about why people pay for our advice about usability and then ignore it, and we could use your help.

Can you do us a favor and fill out a short survey?

(Caroline won’t let me say just how short it is, because everyone’s mileage will vary so I’d inevitably be misleading some of you. But I can tell you it’s only eight questions, and five of them are multiple choice. And it’s all on one Web page. And we won’t ask you to identify yourself at all.)


UPDATE: Some folks have been asking what our session is about. I hesitated to explain it to avoid influencing people’s responses, but Caroline (who’s writing a book for UX people on how to do surveys) pointed out that since the survey is exploratory, not statistical, it’s OK.

So here’s the description of our UPA talk, which will be on Thurday, June 7 at 9 am:


“…but the light bulb has to want to change”:
Why do the most serious usability problems we uncover often go unfixed?

As a profession, one of our most important motivations is that we want products to get better. But even when our recommendations are welcomed and apparently highly valued, they often aren’t acted upon–especially, it seems, when the problems involved are serious. This session offers some reasons why this happens, and suggests what we can do to improve our track record.


The title, of course, is a reference to the old joke:

“How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?

One. But the light bulb has to want to change.”

Categories: Usability