Usability is Important to You
Usability is the measure of the quality of a user's experience
when interacting with a product or system - whether a web site,
software application, mobile technology, or any user-operated device.
According to Usability Expert Jakob Nielsen: "On the Web,
usability is a necessary condition for survival. If a web site is
difficult to use, people leave. If the homepage fails to clearly
state what a company offers and what users can do on the site, people
If users get lost on a web site, they leave. If a web site's information
is hard to read or doesn't answer users' key questions, they leave.
Note a pattern here? There's no such thing as a user reading a web
site manual or otherwise spending much time trying to figure out
There are plenty of other web sites available; leaving is the first
line of defense when users encounter a difficulty."
What is usability
Is your web site usable? There are several definitions for usability,
but basically the following 4 characteristics can be considered
* Quick and easy to learn;
* Efficient to use;
* Allows rapid recovery from errors;
* Easy to remember;
Does your product or web site have the above characteristics? Usability
increases benefits for both parties: the User (potential customers)
and the Provider (yourself).
Users benefits from usability
* Users are satisfied, not frustrated, with the product or web
* They enjoy interacting with the web site or product;
* They achieve their goals effectively and efficiently;
* They cultivate confidence and trust in the product or web site.
If your users are satisfied, they will become loyal, and may even
recommend your product or service to others.
Providers benefits from usability
As a provider, you may benefit from usability in many ways, including:
* Reduced development time and costs;
* Reduced support costs;
* Reduced user errors;
* Reduced training time and costs;
* Return on Investment.
Misconceptions about usability
Misconceptions about usability's expense," Jakob Nielsen says,
"the time it involves, and its creative impact prevent companies
from getting crucial user data, as does the erroneous belief that
existing customer-feedback methods are a valid driver for interface
How can usability can save your company
After all, have you ever wished there was one place that contained
a list of everything you need to know to make your web site user-friendly?
If yes, have a look at this "User Interface Usability Checklist
for Ecommerce Web sites" here: http://webnauts.net/user-interface-usability-checklist.html
About the Author
John S. Britsios is
Accessibility & SEO Consultant, Usability Specialist & Trainer,
founder and owner of the Webnauts Net http://www.webnauts.net