One of the main advantages of the "dot-bomb" downturn is that cool design has suffered a severe setback. Companies are now focused on the bottom line:
- Intranetsare similarly refocused on提高员工生产力。许多公司正在尝试创建订单，强加设计标准，并在以前混乱的内联网上增强导航。
Unfortunately, winning a battle with usability opponents doesn't win the war with complexity. It simply moves us to a new front line: The battle is now to get companies to do usabilityR.ight.
Too frequently, I hear about companies basing their designs on user input obtained through misguided methods. A typical example? Create a few alternative designs, show them to a group of users, and ask which one they prefer.错误。如果用户实际上没有尝试使用设计，则它们将基于曲面特征的评论。这种输入通常与基于真实用途的反馈相比强烈造影。
For example: A spinning logo might look pretty cool if you don't need to accomplish anything on the page. Another example is the drop-down menu. Users always love the idea: finally a standard user interface widget that they understand and that stays the same on every page. However, while they offer users a sense of power over the design,drop-down menus often have low usability并且既混淆用户或将它们带到本网站的意外部分。
To discover which designs work best,观看用户尝试执行任务with the user interface. This method is so simple that many people overlook it, assuming that there must be something more to usability testing. Of course, there are many ways to watch andmany tricksto running an optimal user test or field study. But ultimately, the way to get user data boils down to the基本可用性规则：
- 不相信人们说they do.
- Definitely don't believe what people predict theymay在未来做。
When and How to Listen
你什么时候应该收集偏好数据from users? Only after they have used a design and have a real feeling for how well it supports them. Jonathan Levy and I analyzed data from 113 pairwise comparisons of user interfaces designed to support the same task and found a0.44用户测量性能与其陈述的相关性。设计越多，用户可以轻松有效地完成他们想要做的事情，更像是设计。非常可理解。
However, when collecting preference data, you must take human nature into account. When talking about past behavior, users'self-reported data is typically 3 steps removed from the truth：
- 在回答问题时（特别是在焦点集团), people bend the truth to be closer to what they认为你想听到or what's socially acceptable.
- In telling you what they do, people are really telling you what they记得doing. Human memory is very fallible, especially regarding the small details that are crucial for interface design. Users cannot remember some details at all, such as interface elements that they didn't see.
- 报告他们记得的记忆，人们合理化their behavior. Countless times I have heard statements like "I would have seen the button if it had been bigger." Maybe. All we know is that the user didn't see the button.
So,用户知道他们想要什么吗？No, no, and no. Three times no.
Your best bet in soliciting reliable feedback is to have a captive audience: Conduct formal testing and ask users to fill out a survey at the end. With techniques like纸质原型设计，您可以在不实现某物的情况下测试设计和问题。以下这些基本可用性规则和方法将有助于您确保您的设计真正像看起来一样酷。
尼尔森, J., and Levy, J. (1994). Measuring usability — preference vs. performance.ACM的通信37., 4 (April), 66–75.