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Content last updated 1998
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How do you know that customers like your product. Apart from the feedback that your sales people and user group provide? Some product suppliers commission independent surveys from market research companies, but the information doesn't usually pin point actual problems in detail, not does it tell you what they want.

You can benchmark user satisfaction and user productivity for your product or application using more sophisticated techniques developed as part of the EU's Esprit programme.

How do you know that they like the product?
The SUMI psychometric questionnaire measures user perceptions and attitudes to your product or application. The results are relative to the average of some 200 other products that have been measured by SUMI, so what you get is your product «normed» against an industry average. The database of products is update on a periodic basis. Related to SUMI are MAPPI and WAMMI, questionnaires used for measuring perceptions of Multimedia products and Web Sites respectively.

SUMI is relatively cheap and easy to administer and hence the results can be available very quickly - within a day. It is particularly useful for obtaining a benchmark of an old system or product before beginning the development of a replacement product. For example the move from a character to a GUI interface, or from a traditional Windows to a Web based interface

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Usability Testing is the generic term used to describe tracking user behaviour whilst actually using the product. People are far more able to explain what is good or bad about a product, what new features they want and how they want to work when actually sitting in front of the real product (or an advanced Beta version).

For products where performance and productivity are particularly important, it is worth measuring the actual time taken to perform specific tasks on the system and to identify specific areas which cause errors. This requires the use of video technology and a lab. We have facilities in London we use for this type of Usability Testing.

Usability Testing and Productivity Metrics
We have a Usability Testing Facility in London, where we can test products in an Office like environment.

Our experience of Usability Testing includes products for:

  • traded instruments such as equities, fixed income and derivatives
  • online information
  • retail banking

Depending on the complexity of the product, and depth of benchmarking information required, it takes between 3 and 6 weeks to run a Usability Test.

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Copyright Khodes Consulting. Content as created 1998, site only 'maintained' in memory of David Singleton.