Next Steps: Politics and Positioning of Usefulness

The fortunes of usefulness depend as much on social and political maneuvering in a workplace as they do on designers’ software and HCI skills and knowledge. For at least 20 years, usability specialists have recognized this political reality and have sought to incorporate usability into critical processes of the product life cycle. Ordinarily, in organizational innovations, when a change such as user-centered design reaches a certain “inflection point,” it begins to get institutionalized into an organization (Stryker, 2000). User-centered design, however, has yet to reach this inflection point in most production contexts, even though it has achieved some legitimacy in many of them. Initiatives ...

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