Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Usability testing - doing it like Google

Techcrunch has provided A Peak Inside Google’s Gmail Usability Lab.

It's an interesting look at how one of the most web-savvy companies in the world conducts usability testing.

It is not much more sophisticated than Centrelink's usability lab in Adelaide or Immigration's lab in Canberra.


  1. Immigration actually do usability testing? Having helped a friend recently complete an online visa application, I am barely being ironic in making that comment. Truly, I was shocked at the standard. I know many many people from Immigration have come to our conference over the years, so there are certainly switched on people in the organisation. I guess that message just doesn't get through where it really needs to.

    1. The UCD lab at Immi is very good. They do, however, face an uphill battle in showing the worth of UCD practices to every project that Immi is involved with.
      The Visa 'Wizard' is a great example of how UCD can work to make a product better - the old Visa Application process was very difficult to understand. Extensive User involvement in the Wizard development resulted in a CeBit award for Immi's UCD team (of which I was a part)

  2. Hi Maxine,

    Immigration actually have a number of skilled usability people.

    However embedding design in a culture is not an easy task.

    Give them time.....