The U P A voice
Feb 2005 Contents

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UPA Member Interview with
Lucia Filgueiras

Lucia Filgueiras is a Professor at Escola Politecnica, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

December 2004

Q: What project are you working on now?

A: I’m now presently working on the enhancement of LabIHC, a usability laboratory that evaluates usability of e-government services. This lab belongs to the Sao Paulo State Government and it is intended to act as a quality assurance service for every government site that is offered to citizens (G2C). This lab was started from a short-term contract that assessed how citizens were dealing with the many e-government services that were already offered through the internet. We created an observation method and the conclusions were so well received in the government that a lab was set up to evaluate prototypes. It was a true culture change for the government. Now this lab will be evaluating prototypes before they are launched to the public.

Q: What's the biggest challenge you're facing on this project?

A: There are many big challenges. The first one is to implement a usability evaluation service that can work as a factory. There are many services to be analyzed and the results return time must not impact the life cycle. We don’t want that usability evaluations to become a bottleneck or the project will be discarded.

A second challenge will be to address language issues. Government websites must act as educational tools for citizenship and there is a delicate balance between using technical, correct terms, and popular, understandable ones.

Q: Do you have any "take-aways" to share that may benefit our members?

A: Be prepared for volume. We usability professionals have been advertising usability for a long time, but our techniques are still poorly automated.

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