User Interface/User Experience

What is Usability?

Usability refers to the ease with which a User Interface can be used by its intended audience to achieve defined goals. Usability incorporates many factors: design, functionality, structure, information architecture, and more.

Usability looks at 5 components (usability.gov):

  • Ease of learning: How fast can a user who has never seen the user interface before learn it sufficiently well to accomplish basic tasks?
  • Efficiency of use: Once an experienced user has learned to use the system, how fast can he or she accomplish tasks?
  • Memorability: If a user has used the system before, can he or she remember enough to use it effectively the next time or does the user have to start over again learning everything?
  • Error frequency and severity: How often do users make errors while using the system, how serious are these errors, and how do users recover from these errors?
  • Satisfaction: How much does the user like using the system?

What are the Benefits?

  • increase productivity and customer satisfaction
  • increase sales and revenues
  • reduce development time and costs and maintenance costs
  • decrease training and support costs

Practical Usability Guidelines

From Userfocus’ 247 web usability guidelines page:

Additional Reading