The Benefits of Institutionalized Usability

Rami Tabbah - November 7th, 2011

Large organizations cannot fully benefit from usability unless it becomes part of their culture and the business focus becomes on what the customer will be able to do, rather than the functionality the organization is ready to offer.

This requires a deep change of culture where multi-disciplinary teams that include usability specialists are around the table when deciding on products’ direction and strategy. This also means developing corporate standards, integrating usability in the delivery framework, making usability an integral part of process design and usability metrics part of the overall quality metrics. Ideally, this will lead to more realistic and meaningful benchmarks that will impact the organizations’ strategy. Only then decision makers will be able to maximize the benefits from usability.

Obviously, any decision maker will be more than happy to have an increase in revenue, a faster time to market, better customer satisfaction that improves the brand perception, etc. Usability will become the magical element that led to greater ROI than almost any other strategy tried in the past.

We recently developed a Usability Maturity Model adapted to large organizations. Our scale is based on our own observation working with large corporations and on a number of standards such as ISO 13407, ISO 15504, ISO TR 18529, Earthy’s Human Centredness Scale, Nielsen’s Corporate Usability Maturity and Schaffer’s levels which are based on Earthy’s.

The advantage of this model is that it identifies where your organization is and how to get to the next level. Most importantly, we developed simple methods to calculate ROI and number of methods adapted to each level.

Curious or interested? Contact me to discuss.