This is a type of clinical study where two groups of treatments, A and B, are given so that one group only receives A while another group only receives B. This is unlike a crossover study where at first one group receives treatment A and later followed by treatment B while the other group receives treatment B followed by treatment A.
In a case study of a screen-based telephone interface, measured usability when going from version 1 to version 2 was improved by 18% when using traditional iterative design and by 70% when using parallel design.
In the case study, parallel design was about 73% more expensive than iterative design, so it cannot be recommended for all development projects, but it seems a promising usability engineering method for speeding up time-to-market.
To make parallel design work best, designers should work independently and promote their ideas without the type of compromises that lead to the camel that is a horse designed by committee.
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