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Joel on Software


by Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, May 08, 2001

People seem to think that just because I advocate eating your own dog food, that means that I don't approve of usability testing.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Cheap "hallway" usability testing is one of the 12 requirements of The Joel Test. There's a whole chapter on usability testing, and how to do it the right way, in my upcoming book.

Carl Zetim wrote a critique of my article called "Eat Your Own Dog Food, but Not as a Substitute for Usability". Sorry, you can't read it, he works for Giga and they charge for their ideas. His critique basically said that eating your own dog food is "one of the most pernicious barriers to doing true usability," and then he gives the unlikely example of Microsoft, which actually does tons of usability testing.

Just because I said "eat your own dog food" doesn't mean I don't advocate usability testing. It's just a logical fallacy. They could have said "Eat Your Own Dog Food, but Not If It Means The Dog Will Go Hungry." It just doesn't follow.

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