Very interesting comment posted on this debate about programming languages.  The short form of the argument is that usability testing doesn’t work for products that have a steep learning curve, because by the time you’ve learned how to use the product effectively you’re too biased to comment on its usability fairly.  I think there’s some depth to this argument: it may explain fundamental limits on usability testing for very high dimensional, very complicated products.

However, I also think it misses some of the potential for usability testing for languages.  After all, one of the things that makes a language like Java annoying for the beginning is that there’s simply too much to learn before you can start doing real things with the language.  Usability testing could be a very interesting way to differentiate between different languages that have similar power, to predict which ones would be best for beginners to learn.

Fun debate!

Powered by ScribeFire.

Written by

Comments are closed.