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Reviewing Design and Usability

Two tools for identifying issues or defects are the Design Review and Usability Review. These early stage reviews serve two purposes. First, they provide a way for development to describe the components to the requirement solution. Second, they allow the team to identify missing or incomplete requirements early in the project. Many critical issues are often introduced by incomplete or incorrect design. These reviews can be as formal or informal as deemed appropriate. Many customers have used design documents, white board sessions, and paper-based user interface mock-ups for these reviews.

Once the design is available, the business analyst should review it to make sure that the business objectives can be achieved with the system design. This review identifies functional gaps or inaccuracies. Usability reviews determine design effectiveness with the UI mock-ups, and help identify design inadequacies.

Task-based usability tests are the most effective. In this type of usability testing, the tester gives a user a task to complete (for example, create an activity), and using the user interface prototype or mock-up, the user describes the steps that he or she would perform to complete the task. Let the user continue without any prompting, and then measure the task completion rate. This UI testing approach allows you to quantify the usability of specific UI designs.

The development team is responsible for completing the designs for all business requirements. Having a rigorous design and review process can help avoid costly oversights.

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