How we conduct an expert review
After over seven years of intense practice, we have managed to build up a strong body of experience related to the development of products and services. Having now countless completed projects behind our back, we are able to precisely identify the strengths and weaknesses of the interface and easily predict trouble spots where users will have issues interacting with the product.
In comparison to traditional usability testing, an expert review of the interface allows for the evaluation of an interface's usability with a limited cost in terms of time and labor. However, one should be aware that the results of the expert review, even though produced by professionals, are always subjective.
To start things off, we sit down with the customer and define a precise set of functional blocks to be reviewed. Next, we gather a list of competing products to compare with the interface that is under review.
Over the course of the review, we analyze various aspects that can potentially have an impact on the usability of the interface: the primary and secondary use cases, the graphic design of elements of the interface, established patterns of user behavior, the users' level of training and skill, the context in which the product is used. In order to better identify barriers and trouble spots in the interface, we put ourselves in the shoes of the user and try to see the interface from their perspective.
The expert review is conducted by several usability experts, ultimately allowing us to limit the level of subjectivity and increase the number of identified problems and shortcomings in the interface.
Quite often, our client will want to know how their product's interface compares to that of competing products. It isn't necessary to actually copy the competitor's solutions, but instead to analyze their solutions and gather an understanding of the strengths of the rival's products allowing one to more deeply understand one's own customers, their needs and aspirations.
In a digital world, a rival's product is not necessarily a direct threat. In fact, conducting a comparison with products available in other regions or countries can be helpful in enhancing product usability and increasing the product's overall value.
Having the problems and shortcomings of the interface identified and the comparison with competing products conducted, we summarize our findings and issue a final report. The report describes all of the issues found during the review, ranked according to severity and the complexity of the solution required to fix the issues. Also included in the report are recommendations for solving the detected problems.