This column discusses two barriers to usability evaluation in the telecommunications industry, and a possible solution. The first problem is that carriers expect manufacturers to develop and market usable handsets, but manufacturers have little incentive to do user testing: It is carriers who provide the technical support and earn the incremental revenue from handset-based data sales. The second problem is the lack of cross-product/cross-company research that benefits both carriers and manufacturers; the competitive nature of the industry prevents cross-company cooperation. The Structure of the Telecommunications Industry and Incentives for Usability. Let's consider the cost and benefits of usability testing.…
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