Usability – Making the Right First Impression


Usability – Making the Right First Impression

What is usability?


Usability is a measure about a product that been used in a specific scenario by specific users, which can achieve the special goal in a satisfied and effective degree. First, usability is not only related to the interface design, but also involved in the technical level of the entire system. Second, usability is reflected by human factors, and evaluated by operating a variety of tasks. Third, usability is to describe how a user can be interact effectively with a product and how easy a product can be operated.


Why is it important?


From the user’s point of view, usability is important because it can make the users complete the task accurately, and users can operate it with a pleasant mood rather than feeling stupid. From the developer’s aspect, usability is an important principle to determine the success of a system. From the manager’s point of view, the poor usability of products will greatly reduce productivity, people will not buy your products. Any product that lacks usability will waste more time and energy.


Components Of Usability


Usability is defined by 5 components:


1. Learnability:


A usable product is easy to learn. In this busy and competitive world, no one has time to use a product which is difficult to understand.


Ease of use is the first important thing that a user feels in a product, so it needs to be a priority while making design decisions.


2. Efficiency:


An efficient product is the one that makes it easier for a user to perform his tasks quickly and effectively. If this factor is missing in design, a beautifully designed product will also lose the trust of its users.


Keeping user’s goal in mind in design stage helps to achieve this component.


3. Memorability:


A good product is the one that do not require user to memorize it. Instead, user should be able to go through the layout and flow easily whenever he comes to use the product.


A design should meet human’s psychological behavior and expectations so that he may not put extra efforts to remember its details.


4. Error Tolerance:


A product’s usability can easily be measured by the way its response to human errors. A usable product tries to resolve errors seamlessly.


If an error requires user’s input, then design should handle it gracefully by providing meaningful and polite error messages. This principle also needs to consider during each stage of design process.


5. Satisfaction:


This usability component requires to provide a pleasant and satisfactory user experience. If a user comes to use a product, he should be able to accomplish his goals in a way that he wants to come back again to the same product.


Making user satisfaction a priority in design process helps to build a good relationship between user and product.


Usability Guidelines


1. Design Process and Evaluation
2. Optimizing the User Experience
3. Accessibility
4. Hardware and Software
5. The Home Page
6. Page Layout
7. Navigation
8. Scrolling and Paging
9. Headings, Titles, and Labels
10. Links
11. Text Appearance
12. Lists
13. Screen-Based Controls (Widgets)
14. Graphics, Images, and Multimedia
15. Writing Web Content
16. Content Organization
17. Search
18. Usability Testing


Usability Standards


1. Promote a consistent user interface by providing a shared reference across design teams or time
2. Provide definitive, authoritative, widely agreed statements of good practice
3. Place user experience issues directly on the business agenda
4. Help organizations meet their legal requirements under disability and health and safety legislation.


Guidelines and standards are best used to identify the most obvious usability problems and fix them before a usability test is conducted.


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