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Usability Essentials to Know


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Usability is a key aspect of design. Get to the know the world of usability that spans across areas such as search, web, apps, platforms & more.

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Usability Essentials to Know

  1. 1. Usability 1
  2. 2. 2
  3. 3. Goals 3
  4. 4. ISO 9241-11 defines usability as – the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve defined goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use. what is usability? ISO 9241 is a multi-part standard from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) covering ergonomics of human-computer interaction. It is managed by the ISO Technical Committee 159.
  5. 5. “the essence of usability is to ensure that your product works well: that a person of average (or even below average) ability and experience can use it --- for its intended purpose without getting hopelessly frustrated.” - Steve Krug author of Don’t make me think in other words…
  6. 6. sample case
  7. 7. If a web site's information is hard to read or doesn't answer users' key questions, people leave. why usability? 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 leave. If users get lost on a web site, they leave. Because People Leave…
  8. 8. the three tenets of usability
  9. 9. the five qualitative attributes
  10. 10. the five qualitative attributes
  11. 11. the five qualitative attributes
  12. 12. the five qualitative attributes
  13. 13. the five qualitative attributes
  14. 14. the five qualitative attributes
  15. 15. the bigger vision
  16. 16. the ultimate experience Brand experience User experience Useful design Usability + Utility
  17. 17. key areas of application
  18. 18. web usability
  19. 19. O u t s i d e w e b s i t e I n s i d e w e b s i t e Search usability
  20. 20. search usability impact
  21. 21. influence over user journey
  22. 22. how we really use websites?
  23. 23. Scanning We don’t read through pages. We skim! Source: Don’t make me think - Steve Krug
  24. 24. Source:
  25. 25. chunking subheading listings short sentences short paragraphs active voice no jargons language one-to-one typeface color contrast links line height imagery white space visuals How to facilitate scanning behavior?
  26. 26. Satisficing* We don’t make optimal choices. We satisfice! Economist Herbert Simon coined the term (a cross between satisfying and sufficing) in Models of Man: Social and Rational (Wiley, 1957).
  27. 27. We settle for the first adequate solution we can find. Given our tendency to satisfice, we’re unlikely to end up with anything much better than what we’re willing to accept. Source: HBR
  28. 28. Muddling We don’t figure out things. We muddle through! Source: Don’t make me think - Steve Krug
  29. 29. So, try creating intuitive web design! Capture this primitive “muddling” behavior by enabling users to freely channel towards a positive outcome. e.g. finding information, buying online, sharing feedback, share and likes, etc.)
  30. 30. A top level checklist for general usability…
  31. 31. help users to navigate
  32. 32. the three response time limits Direct manipulation is a human–computer interaction style which involves continuous representation of objects of interest and rapid, reversible, and incremental actions and feedback.
  33. 33. responsive design browser and platform compatible compatibility
  34. 34. clarity consistency accuracy brand theme color & contrast  visual visual cues
  35. 35.  Functionality
  36. 36. Top heuristics for improving usability
  37. 37. Statefulness What does the application look like when a process is loading? How do users know their requests were successful? Do users know where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’ll be going? Can users easily see interruptions or updates to the application while using it?
  38. 38. Error prompts What does an error (user or system) in the application look like? If the error is caused by the system, is this clearly conveyed to the user? If the error is caused by the user, does the message give the user an easy way to rectify it? Does the application prevent losing the user’s state (e.g. entered data) after an error?
  39. 39. Error prevention Can users generate errors in ways the application can prevent from the start? Can a set of options be limited in a way which does not take away from the UX? Does the application provide inputs which could substitute a user’s own error- prone input?
  40. 40. Emergency exit Do you provide an emergency exit if the users take an undesired action? Provide some simple undo actions. For example, forms should have a “cancel” button. Dialogues should have close buttons. Allow users to change their passwords, undo actions, and revisit areas they’ve already been. Can operations be undone? Can users find where they’ve been? How far back are users able/need to be able to go?
  41. 41. Fitts’ Law Predicts that the time required to rapidly move to a target area is a function of the distance to the target and the size of the target. Create reasonably larger targets going by the availability of space. Minimize cursor movement For example, Pop-up menus can usually be opened faster than pull- down menus. Edges/corner of computer screen are easier to acquire with mouse or touchpad.
  42. 42. User help Help should be small enough to ignore but large enough to find when searching for it Can the user get help at any point? Are help elements a feature to those needing help, but not a burden to those needing not? Does my documentation clearly refer to the elements it documents?
  43. 43. Anticipation For example, When I’m buying an iPhone on Amazon, I’m also shown links to get a case and accessories. What actions logically follow common routes in my application? What auxiliary components can I sensibly offer to users in accordance to their desires/needs? Anticipation is reflected by the application’s use of Fitts’ law, layout of items, complementary navigation and more.
  44. 44. Award winning websites
  45. 45.
  46. 46. http://www.orangina .eu/
  47. 47.
  48. 48. More amazing sites @ Usability resources Accessibility resources
  49. 49. 50