Why one should never evaluate software on its own …
Nobody will ever assume that an excellent piano will guarantee the success of a piano concert. Even if it is true that one needs a good piano for this purpose, without a pianist, a room with acceptable acoustics, and a suitable piece of music a concert can never be successful. << back to: UsersAward
Same is true for software, even if it is not only used to create and play music. Replace the pianist by a well-trained user, the room acoustics by a powerful computer in a stable and fast network, and the piece of music by meaningful tasks for the user - and it is very simple to understand why one should never evaluate software by its own. Just a wrongly designed task may cause an excellent application to look bad. And saving money by reducing the extent of training aggravates existing problems. Although this knowledge is not new people have started to certify software quality without considering the tasks and the context of use during the beginning of 1980s. A well-known agency has even certified that a well-known product of a key manufacturer would comply with all ergonomic standards just half a year before the CEO of this manufacturer apologized the ergonomics of his product to the world press and announced a program to improve it.
Not only test agencies tend to act in this direction. Also user organizations ask them for certificates they should better avoid to issue.
UsersAward avoids the problem through an intelligent model: The award winning quality of a software is not its functionality alone but also the cooperation of the manufacturer with the users and the way how feedback from them is being treated after the introduction of the application. The measure of all things is the user - and the label issued is called „User Certified“.
The weakness of the method lies in its impracticality for testing software while being developed. This, however, is considered necessary for avoiding errors during the design and development.