Usability is an interdisciplinary domain that is important to the work of technical professionals. Usability involves a set of practices that aim to improve the experiences people have with designed artifacts. Most historians cite World War II as the context within which usability became an organized endeavor. As Sedgwick (1993) explained, “The field has roots in Frederick Winslow Taylor’s time-andmotion studies at the turn of the century, but it first flowered during the Second World War, when the fate of the Allies hinged on soldiers’ ability to work complicated machinery” (p. 99). Since World War II, however, usability has expanded in three ways: Many different types of technical professionals, not just industrial designers and engineers, are now concerned with usability; many different types of artifacts, not just industrial and military machinery, can benefit from an attention to usability; and many different types of perspectives, not just those from scientific management disciplines, can contribute to an understanding of usability. In a very real sense, then, usability has insinuated itself into the mainstream practices of technical professionals, challenging them to be more attentive to the needs and tasks of real users in specific work settings.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Resources in Technical Communication|
|Subtitle of host publication||Outcomes and Approaches|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||25|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2017|
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