Most content management professionals know very well the importance of user-based acceptance testing, and understand the high stakes involved. If users fail to embrace a system (e.g., due to poor usability), generally speaking the project fails, heads (often) roll, and it's back to Square Zero, with a greatly diminished budget.
You'd think people in the software world would have learned the importance of acceptance testing (and in particular, usability testing) by now, but memories are short and hubris trumps humility, hence history repeats itself all to often, and you end up with things like... Vista.
A recent sampling of more than three thousand machines connected to xpnet found (get this) that fully 35 percent of "Vista machines" are, in fact, running Windows XP. These are machines that originally shipped with Windows Vista, but have since been downgraded to XP.
It's possible to read many things into this finding (I'll leave that as an exercise for you the reader), but I think at a minimum it's a precautionary tale for people in the software business (at all levels: software vendors large and small; implementation specialists; individual programmers) who think they know what users want, but who don't have the slightest scintilla of data to back their assumptions up.
I'm no usability expert, but I've seen more than one enterprise portal application turn into a million-dollar train wreck . (Oh, the humanity...) Based on that, here's some advice (to be taken with a grain of sodium chloride):
Microsoft, are you listening?
Enterprise Collaboration & Social Software Evaluation Stream looks at... Google Sites Hype
"Sometimes, what starts out in a flurry of hype turns out to be a disappointingly limited product. We have been surprised by Google before - the first version of its Search Appliance didn't impress, but the company managed to build it out into on omnipresent enterprise search product nobody can ignore...."
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