"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few."
"We're all beginners under the skin."
Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug
No matter how experienced of an expert one might seem, he or she is still a beginner in some way. I thought that this was valuable information for usability testing. We might be tempted to get experts to review our site, and that's great. But when experts aren't readily available, it's ok to use ordinary people. In fact, it's just as good. They are still people with opinions that can offer you insight about your web page.
Usability testing should be done, and can be done, on any budget! You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to get feedback. You don't need fancy set up to get results. You need people to test the site and other people to observe. Simple. There is really no excuse for not doing a few usability tests.
I never thought about this point before, but your website should hold a user's goodwill, as Krug called it. If it seems that the site is trying to hide something, the user will not feel that the site does not take into consideration the users' interests. There are different things to raise the goodwill of your users. A designer must not forget this.
[I loved the sign that Krug used as an example for good design and usability. It was a sign in a taxi. It was written out to read and plexiglass with Braille lettering was placed over top. I found this to be an excellent idea of accomplishing two things at once.]
Title quote by: Shunryu Suzuki