Technology Transfer of Heuristic Evaluation and Usability Inspection

by Jakob Nielsen on June 27, 1995

Summary: Participants in a course on usability inspection methods were surveyed 7-8 months after the course to find out what methods they were in fact using, and why they used or did not use the methods they had been taught. The major factor in method usage was the quality of the usability information gained from the method, with a very strong correlation between the rated benefit of using a method and the number of times the method had been used. Even though the respondents came from companies with above-average usability budgets (7% of development budgets were devoted to usability), the cost of using the methods was also a very strong factor in determining use. Other observations were that technology transfer was most successful when methods were taught at the time when people had a specific need for them in their project, and that methods need to have active evangelists to succeed.