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Usability - what is it & why is it important

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Usability - what is it & why is it important

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Usability - what is it & why is it important

  1. 1. What’s USABILITY all about? Is it important?
  2. 2. Usability is concerned with improving a user’s experience with an online/technology product or service
  3. 3. “If the user can’t use it, it doesn’t work” - Susan Dray
  4. 4. “A field study identifies twenty-two ways that automated hospital systems can result in the wrong medication being dispersed to patients....”
  5. 5. ...most of these flaws are classic usability problems that have been understood for decades” Jakob Nielsen http://www.useit.com/alertbox/ 20050411.html
  6. 6. YES it is very important :)
  7. 7. Users (that’s your customers) need to be at the center of usability
  8. 8. Usability is necessary to survive. - If it’s difficult to use, people leave. - If users get lost, they leave. - If users don’t understand how to use a service, they leave. - If users do not understand the value of using a service, they leave. - If it’s hard to read or doesn’t address their key questions, people leave.
  9. 9. User-centered design
  10. 10. User-centered design NEEDS
  11. 11. User-centered design NEEDS EXPERIENCE
  12. 12. User-centered design NEEDS EXPERIENCE GOALS
  13. 13. User-centered design NEEDS EXPERIENCE GOALS THOUGHTS
  14. 14. User-centered design EXPECTATIONS NEEDS EXPERIENCE GOALS THOUGHTS
  15. 15. User-centered design EXPECTATIONS NEEDS FEELINGS EXPERIENCE GOALS THOUGHTS
  16. 16. User-centered design EXPECTATIONS NEEDS FEELINGS EXPERIENCE CONTEXT OF GOALS USE THOUGHTS
  17. 17. Key factors: - Copy (labels/instructions/error messages) - Information architecture (data organisation) - Interaction design & work flow - Interface/visual design (layout/look and feel)
  18. 18. Defined by 6 quality components:
  19. 19. 10 Usability Heuristics by Jakob Nielsen Visibility of system status The system should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within reasonable time. Match between system and the real world The system should speak the users' language, with words, phrases and concepts familiar to the user, rather than system-oriented terms. Follow real- world conventions, making information appear in a natural and logical order. User control and freedom Users often choose system functions by mistake and will need a clearly marked "emergency exit" to leave the unwanted state without having to go through an extended dialogue. Support undo and redo. Consistency and standards Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing. Follow platform conventions.
  20. 20. 10 Usability Heuristics by Jakob Nielsen Error prevention Even better than good error messages is a careful design which prevents a problem from occurring in the first place. Either eliminate error-prone conditions or check for them and present users with a confirmation option before they commit to the action. Recognition rather than recall Minimize the user's memory load by making objects, actions, and options visible. The user should not have to remember information from one part of the dialogue to another. Instructions for use of the system should be visible or easily retrievable whenever appropriate. Flexibility and efficiency of use Accelerators -- unseen by the novice user -- may often speed up the interaction for the expert user such that the system can cater to both inexperienced and experienced users. Allow users to tailor frequent actions.
  21. 21. 10 Usability Heuristics by Jakob Nielsen Aesthetic and minimalist design Dialogues should not contain information which is irrelevant or rarely needed. Every extra unit of information in a dialogue competes with the relevant units of information and diminishes their relative visibility. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors Error messages should be expressed in plain language (no codes), precisely indicate the problem, and constructively suggest a solution. Help and documentation Even though it is better if the system can be used without documentation, it may be necessary to provide help and documentation. Any such information should be easy to search, focused on the user's task, list concrete steps to be carried out, and not be too large.
  22. 22. Within the first 50 milli- seconds of using a web-site users have formed an impression - Tobian & Spiegel 2006 (Carleton University, Ontario USA)
  23. 23. How can you make your site more use-able?
  24. 24. Nailing the work-flow
  25. 25. IA / Site Maps
  26. 26. Knowing your users (personas)
  27. 27. Interaction design (wireframes)
  28. 28. “The joy of an early release lasts but a short time. The bitterness of an unusable system lasts for years.” - Anonymous
  29. 29. Make sure your product or online service is at it’s best!

Editor's Notes

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