I could’ve told you that…

Sometimes you have to wonder about academics in their ivory towers of research.  At the Ergonomics Society Conference a paper was presented on a usability evaluation of MP3 players and virtual jukeboxes.  The researchers used “reparatory grid analysis”, a pretty cool technique that got subjects to create their own “constructs” by which evaluations were made.  I’m not knocking their work – it was a good peice of research,  what I do question is it’s worth.  The research took several months and signficant effort to complete.  And thier conclusions?  Of the dozen or so products evaluated the iPod and iTunes were top of the class in usability.  I could’ve told you that after a couple of hours playing with all the devices (backed up by “heursitcs” if you want a veil of research rigor behind the results).  But accademics don’t do the pragmatic.  They need validity and relaibility.  Business needs results fast that sometimes only pragmatism and a healthy disregard of scientific method gives.

1 Comment

  1. Vishy · Tuesday, 30 May, 2006

    Agree with you:) Thin slicing (as ‘Blink’ refers to it) would probably be a more effective approach here

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