illuminating usability issues

About Usability

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If you want to know more about usability, this will give you a start:

Usability is about designing and making something which fits the purpose it was meant for. It’s usually all about making sure the people who will want or need to use it, can do so, learning quickly how to use it and remembering how (whether or not it is frequently used).

In terms of design, that means thinking about: who will be using it? what will they use it for? where will they be using it? how will they control it? is it efficient? does it work? do the people using it find the experience pleasing?

If you smile every time you use your Nokia mobile phone, there must be a reason for that – is it the fact that you can wander around pretty much anywhere and still chat to your family and friends? or is it something special about this particular phone design that makes it a better experience than something else?

And if you tear your hair out in frustration every time you get to work on your very important, long document in MS Word, is it because you’re struggling with the content of your work? or is their something about this particular tool you are using that although it is supposed to help you create the document, it is actually getting in the way of your writing instead?

If you’ve had experiences like these, good or bad (hopefully both), then you’ve experienced usability in action, and you may enjoy my rants on good design, bad design, possible solutions and the documenting of usability issues that really need to be fixed!

Finally, you may also be interested in my Usability Links, where other people are also trying to get the message out there, each in our own way doing our bit to get designs working for real people.

Thanks for reading!

Written by cath

November 8, 2006 at 1:09 pm

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