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Usability Associates
38 Montpelier Circle
Rochester, NY 14618
585.442.0499
EMAIL US


Usability Associates can help you in many different ways. Our basic services have grown as clients have asked us to do something "a little different". The following list defines each service by its description, features, and benefits. Also included is (1) how Usability Associates makes a difference and (2) target companies that would get the most benefit from the service.

1. Apply Usability Design On Specific Product Projects
    Make software and hardware products useful, easy to use, comfortable, productive, and safe.

2. Integrate Usability Into Your Product Development Process
    Develop tools and define activities that can be used repeatedly across different product development projects.

3.  Discover Your Customers' Needs And Preferences
    Bring user input to concepting and evaluation of products.

4. Apply Usability Principles to Improve Your Web Site Design
    Ensure visitors are satisfied with their experience at your web site.

5. Research Usability and Organizational Issues
    Conduct studies to understand current user interface state-of-the-art and future directions. Conduct benchmarking of human factors groups.

6. Increase The Human Factors Capability Of Company Personnel
    Conduct seminars, tutorials, and workshops to enhance Human Factors capabilities and to increase understanding of Human Factors people by other company  personnel.

7. Recruiting Human Factors Personnel
    Find candidates for open Human Factors positions.  Identify targeted participants for usability studies and focus groups.

8. Facilitate Industry Consortiums
    Coordinate and conduct research for company collaborations such as PDU Consortium.

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APPLY USABILITY DESIGN ON SPECIFIC PRODUCT PROJECTS
Making products useful, easy to use, comfortable, productive, and safe

Description

bulletSoftware: Intuitive GUI and custom user-computer interfaces
bulletHardware: Self-evident and comfortable operation
bulletInstructions: Informative and well-placed labels and instructions
bulletSpecifications: Defined usability targets for product specifications and requirements
bulletConfiguration: Task-oriented layout of product components
bullet"Out-of-the-Box" Experience: Easy set up for first-time use

Features
Principles of human perception and information about how people behave are applied throughout the development cycle to produce a highly usable product. Usability considerations include specifications, set up for first time use, labels, instructions, control panels, hardware interaction points, software user interface, mobility, and maintainability.

Benefits
Simpler operation can give product a competitive edge in the marketplace.  Life cycle cost savings will result from avoiding design changes, fewer support calls, reduced requirement for instructional materials, and simpler training.

Difference
Full range of usability considerations is applied.

Target
Companies who want their products to have a competitive edge in the marketplace.

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INTEGRATE USABILITY INTO YOUR PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Develop tools and define activities that can be used repeatedly across different product development projects.

Description

bulletMethods: Guidelines, checklists and custom tools for use across projects
bulletPlanning: Strategies, resources, customer feedback program
bulletIntegration: Meld Human Factors activities into overall process

Features
Guidelines, checklists, customer feedback instruments and other custom tools allow designers to build ergonomics/usability into their products.

Benefits
Ergonomic design becomes more routine and can be applied easily and more cost effectively.

Difference
Tools are tailored to specific characteristics of the product line.

Target
Companies who are serious about institutionalizing product usability.

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DISCOVER YOUR CUSTOMERS NEEDS AND PREFERENCES
Bring user input to concepting and evaluation of products.

Description

bulletFocus Groups: Design and conduct customized focus groups
bulletUsability Testing: Assess product prototypes
bulletContextual inquiry: Observe and interview in work environment
bulletConcepting: Apply user-centered product concepting methods

Features
A methodology is employed that is appropriate for the purpose of the study, the type of product, and the state of the product's development.  Besides focus groups and usability testing, methodologies include ethnographic studies, day-in-the-life scenarios, contextual inquiry, Wizard of Oz simulations, and Mr. Potato Head concept building.

Benefits
Clients can understand how people use their company's products and how to design them for optimum ease of use.  This can be done across the entire range of product development activities from concept formulation through product design to market launch.

Difference
The variety of methods means that user participation can be utilized in all phases of product development.

Target
Companies developing hardware or software products would use this VOC feedback to make sure their products meet the needs of their customers.

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