In the latest of Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox newsletters, I ran across this terrific phrase: voodoo usability. As Nielsen explains it,

“Most sites employ horribly misguided methodologies that do not assess real usability. Sometimes the methods are simply worthless; other times they are directly misleading…for fun, some of my colleagues once signed up with a panel operator [and were] assigned to several studies for which they were not even remotely in the target audience. These ‘studies’ are often a form of voodoo usability that generate misleading results.”

I’m picturing James Bond in Live And Let Die, aren’t you?