EdGEL is informed by observation of users interacting with interfaces in real contexts. We give priority to interaction on small screen devices.
The design is informed by, and continues to evolve through, observation of users peforming representative tasks.
The international standard, ISO 9241-11, defines usability as:
The extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.
Our expectation is that additions and amendments to EdGEL are informed by such research. Not by asking people what they think of a design, but by observing them interact with design elements within a specific context, towards achieving a specific goal.
Observing users is undoubtably beneficial to development, but not always feasible. Heuristics can help fill a gap when research is unavailable.
Enhancements to EdGEL should comply with Jakob Nielsen's 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design (unless direct user research indicates otherwise).
The web is a self-service medium. We're designing to facilitate people independently doing what they need to do, when they need to do it.
Failing to facilitate self service is a pain to the user and a cost to the business.
So investment in user research that informs and enhances self-service capabilities pays a return many times over.