With the rapid development of science and technology in the recent times, there have been an increasing number of computer users who operate various websites and softwares as per their requirements. There lies the job of a Usability Engineer.
This field is concerned with the development of human-computer interfaces that have high usability and user friendliness. It supports the development processes of electronic informations and applications that are based on user-centric designs and user-validation methods, so that the applications are beneficial to the users as necessary value additions to their intended tasks.
To brief, a software or website is simplified so that the ordinary users can use them effectively and efficiently as they require for completing a task. The major areas of operation of Usability Engineering are improvement of usability and customer interface of software graphical interfaces of user interfaces, web-based user interfaces and voice user interface.
In the recent times the general inclination is more on the development of responsive methods of software and web engineering in contrast to conventional, complex and bulky software engineering processes. As for example an agile method of software processing will require much lesser hard-core engineering skills as well as elaborate documentations in contrast to The V-model software process.
In developing a user-friendly software and extreme programming, the Usability Engineers engage themselves in exploration activities; users are interviewed on their need for using a software or interface, how to they expect the applications to work, what bottleneck points they generally face in using such applications and many more relevant questionnaires.
Next, the codes are implemented in short increment and iterations, to be presented to the customers in small releases. This whole process, which is a part of the exploration process, now the development team provides a brief on the utility of the software, the requirements and roles of the intended users and the application methodology. Finally, the interface is released commercially once there is widespread acceptance of the software product.
This whole process, theoretically, is full-proof. But in practicality, it suffers from major drawbacks, as the people interviewed during the exploration activities, may not always be real users of the software. Thus the feedbacks collected from them might not benefit the interactions of the software thus developed after necessary software changes, to the real users and their interactions with it.