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- Usability Certification
Re: Usability Certification
No. Not with any HFEs I've dealt with, and I've not yet heard anyone use
the term when discussing a usability issue. Instead, what they talk
about are "guidelines" or "style guides" which are, as we both know are
often incomplete, don't solve problems, and are usually driven by
<snip a great description of the problem>
I have four ideas which might help:
We have to convince the stakeholders in upper management that competent
HFE staff must become part of the development team and their involvement
*must* begin when the project begins, not when the project is falling
apart or the latest bug-riddled release has happened.
We must educate HFEs so that they have at least some understanding of
how a site or piece of software is developed. If they're going to expect
developers to listen to their design ideas, they need to get some idea
of exactly how that design is going to be implemented. Too many HFEs
act like they dream something up and the developers will be able to snap
their fingers and it will be done.
We must eradicate the hucksters, snake oil salesmen, and amateurs out
there pretending to be usability gurus. As you mentioned in an earlier
post, you can't just go calling yourself a Dentist. You have to pass
licensing and certification exams, etc. Problem is, any idiot off the
street can buy some business cards and start calling themselves a
Usability Consultant. Some of the biggest "names" in the usability
industry popped up overnight like mushrooms in goat shit. They have
educational backgrounds in things like History, Literature, and Theatre.
These some persons' professional backgrounds have even less to do with
HCI, yet somehow they've managed to snatch up more than their fair share
of public attention. As they say, the empty can rattles the most, and
these people do a lot of rattling. It is time for them to go away. This
is one reason why I'm a fan of BCPE - without relevant education and
work experience, you can't even take the test.
We must get rid of the BOFH style developers who think that they can
take a bullshit attitude towards their non-geek coworkers and
end-users. The dot-com bubble burst several years ago, it is time for
them to understand that a personable, caring, professional replacement
can be found just around the corner. We shouldn't expect developers to
be HFE's, but we should expect them to put a little thinking towards HOW
people (namely non-geeks) are going to be using the product.
Re: Usability Certification
Nope. I'm not aware of any certifications that are from credible
organisations, or that are themselves useful. (updates always welcome)
I'm certainly unaware of any benefits to be had by gaining any of such.
The only "web certifications" that have any sort of brand recognition
are CIW and Sun Java, Cisco etc. Now Java certification is great (good
example of how such schemes should operate) and it's worth having
career-wise, but it's not really relevant here. CIW is more likely to
have you branded as a newbie and dismissed as ignorant, more than
recognised as valuable.
The other question is whether you mean "usability" or "accessibilty".
The web's often bad at both, but any emerging legal constraints are
about _accessibility_, not usability. If we do ever see job
opportunities from this, it'll be for accessibility (giving everyone a
level playing field) rather than the arguably more important usability
(a site that's at least useful for someone).