What is Usability?
:: Monday, November 01, 2004 ::
Donna Maurer's new article, What Is Usability?, is easy to read and informative. On a slow Monday, this was too good to ignore.
"'Usability' is widely seen as the answer to many of these frustrating interactions with technology. There are usability books, websites, guidelines and checklists, so why are products and systems getting harder to use instead of easier? "'Usability' is widely seen as the answer to many of these frustrating interactions with technology. There are usability books, websites, guidelines and checklists, so why are products and systems getting harder to use instead of easier?"
"The focus on user abilities and needs means that the team has a much clearer picture of the requirements from the start. A good understanding of needs, and regular involvement of users also means that usability issues are identified early enough to fix them."
"The best way of ensuring that the system is usable is to follow a user-centred design process (outlined below), where users are considered and involved in the process, and usability testing is carried out at many stages of the design process."
My only grump is that it may be scary to smaller businesses or newcomers to web design who are just getting used to the term "usability". The article may make the entire process seem cumbersome and confusing. Not many small companies know to hire usability testing or a trained user centered designer. It's similar to not understanding that search engine optimzation techniques are best when worked into the overall design itself, not as an afterthought. Same thing with usability elements and concerns.
Nevertheless, any article that's a pleasant read, educates, and promotes the end user, is a good thing.
:: posted by Kim Krause Berg on 11/01/2004 01:40:22 PM
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