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Ron Perkins <[log in to unmask]>
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Fri, 17 Jun 2005 14:19:18 -0400
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I am collecting the ways that people in the usability community describe
usability problems and determine how serious those problems are. I'm doing
this for a workshop that I'm running with Chauncey Wilson at the UPA
Conference in a few weeks.  I'll compile and send to the group by June 23 if
you send them to me, or feel free to openly discuss on the list.  If you
want to know about the results of the workshop and participate in a
discussion, I'll share that with whoever is interested.
The idea for this workshop was based on a long research history showing that
HCI practitioners are not very consistent in how problems are defined and
how one decides how serious those problems are. 
Anything from formal reporting schemes to anecdotal and informal schemes
that you've used or even seen used, I would like to hear about them.
Please include the following:
1) How do you list the severity of a usability problem?
Numbered scale: Examples: 1-4? 1-5? Is #1 the most severe problem or least?
With Words: Examples: High Med Low? Catastrophic...Minimal
Both Words and numbers?
No severity listing?
Do you include a description along with a number that explains precisely
what a #1 means?  Do you use examples?  If others are using your scale (QA
or tech support) do you train colleagues how to use your definitions and
seriousness scale?  
If you want to describe more details, please include:
2) What are the attributes of a good usability problem definition?
3) Do you have an example of a usability problem definition that describes
levels of seriousness that you could send us?
Ron Perkins, Principal
Usability and Design Consulting

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