One of the most beneficial and most often neglected tools to effective web communication is usability testing. It’s a shame, and we should all resolve to commit to usability testing for all web communication efforts in 2010.
Jakob Nielsen points out that usability doesn’t really take much time or resources:
It takes only 3 days to complete a small usability project:
Day 1: Plan the study and write the test tasks.
Day 2: Test 5 users for about 1 hour each (cleaning up between sessions).
Day 3: Analyze the findings and write up the top recommended design improvements.
Learn more at useit.com, THE resource for all things related to usability.