In my country, I have been observing several emerging usability managers. These managers, paradoxically and unbelievably, do not dedicate themselves to research, but to working in a masturbatory process.
This post is dedicated to these characters.
We have software companies that have human-phobia: the irrational, disoriented, erratic and unpredictable beings with a bad memory. And they clearly prefer imagining them.
Sitting in meetings, these managers explain (in a crusade of competing egos) what happens to users without having approached or researched them.
With an almost complete lack of capacity to escape their inbreeding and cut their umbilical cord, they defend their opinions based on the rhetoric and they justify their vertical decisions with an almost religious thinking.
In this way, the human user reaches the end of the process, with the duty to adapt and communicate with this hostile machine that these characters have built from their own dogmas.
On the other hand, there are professionals that take one more step, but they do something which in my opinion, is as pathologic as phobia. They make an heuristics analysis by themselves. I heard something like “expert analysis”. They imagine users. They talk about things with themselves.
The heuristics of usability are general concepts that frame the characteristics that the interfaces must have.
But that doesn’t mean that this is a verification checklist that can be answered without a user observation process.
In fact, the heuristics cannot be answered efficiently in a masturbatory act.
There is no way of knowing if a system uses the language of users, if we have never listened to them.
There is no way of verifying if the interface prevents mistakes if we have never observed anybody make a mistake.
We come from a medieval verticality, that has a touch-phobia.
We have virgin characters that talk about sex… and worse… We have other virgins who believe them.
Project leaders and HR managers recruit people that say that they work in Human Computer Interaction, but they are really virgins; and the managers don´t know how to evaluate them.
Hooray for masturbation forever, but to pass to adulthood we have to rethink our phobias, get out of our assumptions and relate to the other.