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Usability Experts (1): Designers (0). Why designers need to evaluate design effectiveness

Julie Allbutt

The limitations of design evaluation methods continue to hinder designers working in commercial website design practice. Relatively little is known about evaluating website design beyond usability and basic affective response to aesthetics, nor about the impact of user-testing on design innovation or strategic design goals related to emotion. It is suggested that the lack of designer input into the development of testing metrics for design evaluation has contributed to a limited testing methodology for evaluating website effectiveness. Furthermore, it is suggested that a lack of designer involvement in design evaluation has contributed to perceptions that designers are 'stylists' rather than strategists, undermining design as a profession. It is argued, that for this situation to change, designers must actively participate in the evaluation of website design effectiveness and in the research and development of evaluation methods.


website design, evaluation, user experience