Despite the efforts of Internet gurus like Nielsen or others, a large number of web sites are still not usable. Some could argue that usability is a fuzzy concept widely depending on users tastes, that you cannot satisfy everybody and that rules can be contradictory...it is true!
With a couple of Internet-minded users, we reviewed the progress of the historical usability study on Sun Microsystem site and, though everybody acknowledged the drastic progress that had been made, some were still not happy with the final result. Does it mean that the web site is not usable?
No! Since we are not Sun users and as the main critics were addressed to graphical contents and icon choices which are among the most subjective ever, our remarks are a bit out of scope, or at least second range. And that is a bit the problem, because some aspects of usability seem to be rather subjective, some web sites builders take the tempting opportunity to neglect them, pretending that usability testing is so partial and senseless that it isn't worth the effort (read price).
Olivier Denoo is a consultant active in the Business of Structured Software Testing since 1997. He was the key-developer of ps_testware's Y2K testing techniques. Nowadays, he still is a highly respected trainer of this methodology. Continuously looking for new challenges, Olivier started to investigate the possibilities of website and e-commerce testing and became in charge of ps_testware's e-commerce/WWW-testing knowledge base. Currently, he is working in a project at one of the largest Belgian Telecom companies.