Usability, in technology, is the next big thing. I was over at my moms yesterday, trying to help her with the TV. It didn’t work because her remote (we had down-sized from 3 remotes) had a couple of dead buttons. While determining this, she pushed a bunch of buttons on the remote while I was pushing button on the TV (menu, video/TV, or guide) and we then entered the Large Hadron Collider black hole. It took us 15 minutes to climb out.
When a 78 year old woman can’t turn on her TV and watch a little American Movie Classics (AMC) you know we, as a society, are in trouble.
Enter the usability economy. Smart marketers are going to spend millions on making technology easy to use and its already happening. There are lots of examples of products with easy out-of-the-box experiences: Wii, the Flip video camera, the new Peek (email handheld) and more to come. Technology that everyone can use is the next big thing. And usability testing, therefore, will become a billion dollar industry.