Welcome to Social Usability – the Sociable Usability Study Service

We’re launched officially here now! Welcome!

We’re bringing Usability Testing projects to you with a new twist on the old Usability Study service methodologies – with a bent toward Social Usability (sm) we’ll bring the industry standard services all have come to expect for Usability Testing projects while making sure they are delivered with & take advantage of the new Social connectivity we all love & expect these days.

We’ll make sure we address the needs of your business to develop actionable, useful & usable recommendations.

Be sure to check out a synopsis of our Services!

We just released a new additional consulting service offering around Best Practices for UX Design Practices in Agile Development Projects – see the details here!

Thanks for stopping by & in the meantime if you want to offer these independent Usability Study services to your clients as a web design or development firm just contact us thru Twitter, Facebook or on email @ SocialUsability at gmail dot com! Be sure to check out our contact info to the right or here!

You may also want to read our recent post that Answers some questions about the service!

See y’all soon in Sunny Savannah GA, home of The Creative Coast & thincspace, Savannah’s first co-working space!

Our events for the month & announcements here:

We saw y’all at the cSpot Monthly Shenanigans @ B&B Billiards in Savannah, GA on Wednesday night (June 30, 2010) – check the cSpot site for more details – 5:30pm to 7:30pm though! Missed the July event, sorry :(…

August’s Refresh will be an opportunity for us to help “design” a solution & maybe help save lives! Take a look at the writeup on Refresh Savannah!

July’s Refresh event was at the regularly scheduled time – July 20, 2010, where we (MPH Consulting) presented an Introduction to Agile – take a look at our recap & our initial article to set the stage for this presentation with some thinking about Agile vs Waterfall!

Hope you stopped by & Saw US @ the RefreshSavannah Monthly event for July – July 20, 2010 @ 7pm in the thincspace facility!

The topic for June was Angel Investing & will be an update from Savannah ARIEL Partners, our local Angel Investment group.

And, be sure to take a look at the thincspace site for announcements about upcoming evens, planned for August!

We have migrated from the MPH Consulting USA Blog !!

Come back & see us again soon, sign-up for email notifications for our content as we continue to promote the practices launch.

The “guys” at MPH Consulting USA welcome you to Social Usability!

P.S. We just added a link to our LinkedIn Profile here & on the right side of this page!!

(at the suggestion of one of our viewers!)

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Needs a Usability Study: No, Your First Impression Isn’t Wrong: Android ISN’T As Nice As The iPhone

No, Your First Impression Isn’t Wrong: Android ISN’T As Nice As The iPhone

Tried Android and feel it doesn’t measure up to the iPhone? TechCrunch would have you think it’s just because you didn’t try it long enough. It’s not the phone, you see. It’s you. And that’s bull.

We have another little “religious” war going on here now it seems!

Like the Mac vs PC camps being so tough on each other we are likely to see these Android (Google) vs iPhone (Apple) wars heating up.

Don’t you think there should have been a Usability Study done to point out these realities to someone – either before they bought one or the other or how about before they were “designed” – well since Android is an “aftermarket” solution, maybe Google should have put all its muscle behind one eh?

Take our poll – Do you think Google should have done a Usability Study?

via No, Your First Impression Isn’t Wrong: Android ISN’T As Nice As The iPhone.

via Needs a Usability Study: No, Your First Impression Isn’t Wrong: Android ISN’T As Nice As The iPhone.

Posted in Designers, Developers, Poll | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Check this out: UX Exchange – Q&A site for user experience professionals

If you’re a UX person or want to learn more about it, check out this site – ask a question, get an answer – or answer a question & earn some reputation as an expert!

We’re (socialusability) there – asking & answering a few too!

UX Exchange – Q&A site for user experience professionals.

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Great read: What Comes After Sketching? Advice for Developers. – Articles – MIX Online

Designers and developers have something incredibly important in common—but people forget it all the time.

Great perspective on the common ground between developers & designers!

The blending of minds isn’t often seen but often denied – it’s really there, so why all the walls between them when work is being done?

Thought provoking – look at how one designer came to that conclusion from observation, he snuck in the middle of some developers & saw them in action!

What Comes After Sketching? Advice for Developers. – Articles – MIX Online.

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Hope this isn’t You!: Usability Testing: Is your team stuck in a bubble?

He sighed. “Not at all. You can’t be embarrassed by something you weren’t aware of.” He went on, “We hadn’t looked at the site at all from the point of view of users outside the organization. We’ve been in a bubble.”

This post talks about a usability practitioner doing a presentation to an audience where she highlights some usability issues with a website to point out how much value a usability study could generate for potential clients.

This is a story of how the actual owner of the website reacted to this information – so, could this be You?

Check out the full story to see how the conversation went after she found out he was in the audience!

Then think seriously about whether you are caught in a bubble yourself – your organization doesn’t have to find out about their usability issues this way if you engage early by integrating usability testing in your processes.

Check out our Services & see if we can help you understand the value of usability testing in your own environment & take into consideration your particular circumstances.

via Usability Testing: Is your team stuck in a bubble?.

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Being Agile about doing Usability Studies!

This discussion about agile & usability testing could go in many directions.

There’s a lot of misunderstanding out there about mixing agile & usability in a discussion. But our research has shown that there are a lot of myths out there about usability studies & usability testing in general.

In fact, there is a whole website & twitter feed out there dedicated to the topic of talking about those myths in great detail.

Our favorite myth is that Usability Testing has to be expensive!

That myth is generally thought to be manifested in several objections we have seen:

  • that takes a long time to conduct tests (impacting my schedules),
  • lots of resources are required (got to invest a lot in applications, labs & equipment) &
  • they are very expensive.

All are false & there are many examples of people who have approached it in a DIY approach. But DIY takes a while to get rolling because of the research required to pull it all together with so many options.

Depending on the size of the application or website, the way it is developed (agile & iterative vs waterfall for example!) the process can be streamlined & integrated into a development process very effectively.

The cost can be greatly reduced these days because of the power of some of the tools that are available.

We have experience in delivering our process with the best set of tools that meet the needs & environment, matching the requirements of a particular project perfectly.

The discussion about building capability inside an organization or outsourcing the usability testing to a 3rd party brings another level of agility into the mix.

Ask yourself a couple of questions to spur your thoughts:

  • Do you have the time to develop the skills?
  • Are internal eyes the best eyes on the user to deliver the most unbiased & effective recommendations?

But the essence of this discussion centers on how effective, responsive & rapid can the results be delivered, producing actionable, useful & usable recommendations that affect the bottom line.

That’s our specialty – getting the results you need to justify bringing Usability Testing into your organization!

So ROI comes into play.

Depending on whom this discussion is with in an organization, the issues & concerns are different.

So we like to talk to the individual in an organization who can influence, affect or make the decision about whether there should be further inquiry & consideration by that organization about implementing, testing, trialing or just out-right doing a usability testing project.

What should be first on the agenda in any given organization depends on the understanding of value & benefit of usability testing & determining where in the organization the process should be prototyped or just done!

Check out our Services page – engage us to do an assessment of your needs or just send us a quick note with a question relative to your specific situation & we’ll be happy to share our experience & understanding.

If you need a Usability Testing project done or want to figure out the best way to integrate them into your current processes we are here – we can even develop a Repeatable Process & educate your staff if that’s the best approach for you.

Posted in About, Advice, Agile, Agile Usability, Designers, Developers, Reading, Thoughts | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Some advice: Why You Should Outsource Usability Testing | Designing Interactive

Small companies should consider outsourcing their usability testing instead of doing it in-house. On the surface, it makes perfect sense to have a designer/developer who has a deep understanding of the project be in charge of usability testing, but in fact this can cause serious problems.

Of course we concur, as the reasons seem understandable & we are here as a consultancy too!

So, take a look at the justifications & benefits of outsourcing your Usability Testing Studies.

Bring your questions to us, check our Services page & let’s talk more about getting your Usability Testing DONE!

via Why You Should Outsource Usability Testing | Designing Interactive.

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Here’s a way to understand the development approaches: Mind Maps: Scrum, Extreme Programming, Lean | Edge of Chaos | Agile Development Blog

Mind maps are cool. They provide a very good overview of quite complex structures and things. You may quickly scan the mind map and find interesting relations. Also it helps to create/maintain good picture of the process/structure in your head.

Have you ever used Mind Maps in any of your projects?

Well here is a way that we can present the processes that helps better than even the diagram we used in our Refresh Savannah presentation!

The ones in this article are for Scrum, Lean & Extreme Programming. We’re on the hunt for a Kanban & Agile Mind Map so stay tuned!

Enjoy!

via Mind Maps: Scrum, Extreme Programming, Lean | Edge of Chaos | Agile Development Blog.

Posted in Lean, Mind Maps, Scrum, XP | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

We recommend this approach to getting to Agile: The Guerillas Workflow | Agile Zone

Were now four episodes in to The Agile Guerilla series. The focus of this series of articles is to to help you introduce change, specifically moving to agility, into your organization from the grassroots level.

This series of posts on the Agile DZone looks great for those of us who need to spur an Agile movement in our organizations.

Are YOU the Guerilla in your organization? Do you want to be?

Read this series of articles to find out how to do it yourself!

We’ve heard a lot about Guerilla Marketing & such, maybe now applying a guerilla style to the grassroots level in your workplace will help spur your organization into agility.

Keep in mind that you probably want to understand how to integrate Usability Testing into your newfound agileness – so we’re here to help you!

via The Guerillas Workflow | Agile Zone.

Posted in Agile, Agile Development, Agile Usability, Agile UX, Designers, Developers | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Our thoughts & a poll: Petr Olmer, evangelist: Five excellent excuses why not to be agile

Sure, everybody says: be agile! But what if you don’t really feel like being agile? You need some excuses. And here are five excellent ones.

And the five are listed here but read the entire article to really see that they aren’t good reasons, just ones you might hear as you look at agile methods.

Take our poll to let us know if you think these excuses are valid for your organization:

Here are five excellent, absolutely essential lines. Learn them, use them, and you don’t need to be agile again.

  • If we’re going to fix it, we want to do it right.
  • It’s a core problem. There’s no easy way to fix it.
  • That’s all going to change soon anyway. We can live with it until then.
  • It’s going to end up feeling like a kludge.
  • We can’t fix that right now. We don’t have time.

via Petr Olmer, evangelist: Five excellent excuses why not to be agile.

Posted in Agile, Agile Development, Agile UX, Designers, Developers, Poll, Thoughts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Comments on: How Social Media Can Make Us More Productive

To quote Eric Clapton: “It’s in the way that you use it!”

In the constant back-and-forth arguments about Millennials joining the workforce, we’ve heard countless times that managers think social media is a distraction and ultimately a productivity killer in the workplace.

In response, the social media community has fought back by saying that these tools actually help them get things done faster, or bring other value to the business. But there have been few substantive conversations about precisely how social media might help you get things done.

Are you sing Social Media today in your business & personal lives? Do those parts of your life merge, blend & in fact become indistinguishable sometimes?

Most of the readers of this blog understand much that’s written in this article from Mashable, but if you have business associates or contacts who would question all that time they think you’re spending on Facebook or Twitter then show this to them & use it as a way to really explain the Business value to you in using Social Media tools.

I’ve had senior business people who have been around the block & who in fact have a Facebook presence themselves question me about how people can spend so much time on them or that it takes a lot of their time to stay current on them.

Well, realistically they are less likely later in their careers to get the benefits of networking through their use of these tools but rather they will be able to participate in requests from the younger set who they continue to deal with in their community development efforts when they “stay connected” to them in their efforts to support the work they need them to accomplish.

So, I found this read while perusing my daily Gist digest of contact updates – whoa, is that yet another social media tool? Well, yes it is! It’s a tool that leverages my email contacts, my linkedin, twitter & facebook contacts to help me keep up with them.

I’m not “selling” Gist here, although its a useful tool, but using it as an example of the tools that are being built to help us be even more productive using our social media connections to mine them for nuggets like this & to fulfill our need to bring all that mountain of information together in a productive way!

Hopefully this is all of value to you as you continue to move your productivity levels forward!

Take a look at this very substantive discussion about how using social media tools can in fact make you more productive & in fact increase the value of your connections!

via How Social Media Can Make Us More Productive.

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