Bravo, John, bravo! In Profits First, Users Second, John S. Rhodes writes a compelling piece about the need for business acumen in the usability community. I spoke at the Toronto Usability Professionals Association on March 9, 2004 about the future of usability-related work. I focused on the need to understand the business value of what we do. I am not the first, Tom Landauer wrote The Trouble with Computers (.com) which dealt with the business implications of poor usability. Randolph Bias and Deborah Mayhew edited the usability/ROI bible: Cost-Justifying Usability(.com). But I think it was Don Norman’s keynote at HFES in Chicago in 1998 that really clarified this for me.
Thank’s to John for writing a suscinct description of what needs to change with our current usability practices. It is similar to the arguments made by Scott Hirsch, Paula Thorton and other people who are a lot smarter than me.