Resilience in Usability Consultancy Practice: the case for a positive resonance model

in Conference paper (text), Linköpings, Sweden


Usability evaluation methods (UEMs) play a central role in usability consultancy practice. Their adoption and adaptation plays an important part in making systems more re-silient. There is a knowledge gap in how practitioners adopt and adapt UEMs. Wixon (2003) goes as far as to say that the current literature fails the practitioner. Work reported here builds on qualitative research on usability practice. The conceptual framework of re-silience engineering can help bridge this gap. However, resilience engineering is typically focused on avoiding accidents at the lower end of performance: e.g. when system resources are too stretched or when system variability leads to failure. We argue that a better way of conceptualizing UEM use is for the maximization of impact on design at the high end of performance. Here practitioners adopt and adapt methods to resonate with the project, peo-ple and practices of the host company under constrained resources. This reasoning leads us to introduce and apply a positive resonance model to capture this perspective.