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Ezra Schwartz, a friend of mine in the field of systems usability, asked me for some insights as to why there might be disconnects or methodological issues between traditional software and usability engineering activities.

Briefly my thoughts are along these lines – cognitive and cultural differences play a significant role in the successful recognition and adoption of usability precepts. For example, engineering is predominately a left brain activity, while usability is more right brain. Software engineers are looking to apply structure to realism as a means to systematically reaching the ends (need intellectual quotient – IQ- maturity for thinking). Usability engineers are looking to realism to structure in order add context to the content of the systems we use (need emotional quotient – EQ – maturity for feeling). In essence, Software Engineers are from Mars and Usability Engineers are from Venus.

In addition, there are cultural differences between a Western, Asian, Middle Eastern, Russian, and Indian perspective on usability. How we see the world and interact with its objects are highly dependent on how and where we where raised. Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions (Dr. Geert Hofstede) recognizes that culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Understanding how interactions between national cultures and organizational cultures are critical to being successful in multinational usability undertaking.

Here is a link to AxureWorld

Interesting. Yes?

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