In terms of usability consultancy companies, it doesn’t get much more prestigious than the Nielsen Norman Group (www.nngroup.com). The company was founded six years ago by several leading practitioners (including the fathers of the modern day field of usability engineering, Jakob Nielsen and Don Norman). Every couple of years the company goes “on tour” to preach the usability gospel to the masses. I’ve just returned from the 5-day UsabilityWeek 2004 conference in Sydney and thought I’d share my thoughts.
There were 145 attendees at the conference, although not all were there for all five days. The conference was structured in two halves – the first three days was a usability boot camp and the other two days consisted of a number of full day tutorials on specific usability topics (I attended Intranet and E-mail newsletter usability). The majority of the attendees were from Australia (there were 12 kiwis) and the biggest number of delegates were from the finance and government sectors. This is a good indication of where money is being spent in usability. Finance companies realise the money they can save when creating designs that are intuitive and easy-to-use, and government realises that it has a duty to ensure that online services are usable for all its citizens. Read more »