I’m sure the makers of the Gemmy 6ft Airblown Inflatable Christmas Nativity Scene parodied below were not trying to assert that Jesus was of Aryan descent:
So how do we avoid the type of ‘accidental-message-myopia‘ that produces a design that includes a not-so Middle-East,Â blond haired (and possibly blue-eyed)Â baby Jesus?Â Two words “Hallway Testing.”
The Wikipedia describes hallway testing as:
Hallway testing (or hallway usability testing) is a specific methodology of software usability testing. Rather than using an in-house, trained group of testers, just five to six random people, indicative of a cross-section of end users, are brought in to test the software (be it an application, web site, etc.); the name of the technique refers to the fact that the testers should be random people who pass by in the hallway. The theory, as adopted from Jakob Nielsen’s research, is that 95% of usability problems can be discovered using this technique.
In short, hallway testing is the simple act of accosting … I mean drafting … I mean enlisting 5 or 6 random individuals to inspect your designs to insure among other things, you’re not overlooking some detail great or small that accidentally sends the wrong message.
I know it’s an extra step in the web design process, but when one considers alternatives as the above parody poster depiction, it’s probably worth it.