5) Usability (Part 1)

‘Usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use. The word “usability” also refers to methods for improving ease-of-use during the design process.’(Nielsen) Usability has 5 different components:

  1. Learnability
  2. Efficiency
  3. Memorability
  4. Errors
  5. Satisfaction

computertesting.jpg

In this part of the post I will be talking about Learnability, Efficiency and Memorability, the rest will be discussed in my next blog post. As the name suggests, Learnability means how easy or difficult your website is to learn about, basically how easy can users start navigating your website. Learnability is arguably the most important part of web design usability.

‘We design websites with an eye toward learnability and navigation to ensure that users are able to instantaneously determine; what your company does, what information is on your website, and how to get a hold of your company.’(“Usability Goals: Learnability”)

When you access a website you want to very quickly learn how to use it, some users will get discouraged but this can also depend on how important/valuable the information is to you. Although still being able to complete basic tasks and such is going to be vital, if your product or business is critical to the users work/life in general, there’s a much better chance they will put in more effort to engage with the site.

So Learnability comes first but now let’s move on to Efficiency. Now that the user has learned how to use your site and understands your design, can they navigate around quickly? Is your website performing as it should? Users except your website to be delivered in a way that it’ll be fast and they can remember how to use it in the long run.

This is where memorability comes into the usability equation. Memorability is very important assuming you want users to return to your site and understand it consistently. ‘77% of users return to content and information sites because of ease-of-use. Only 22% return because the site belongs to a favourite brand. (Forrester, June 2001)’ (“Usability Goals: Memorability”) Always keep memorability in mind and run plenty of tests to make sure this is completed.

In Part 2 of this post I will talk about Errors and Satisfaction.

Bibliography:

  • “Usability Goals: Learnability”. Affordableusability.com. Web. 2 Dec. 2016.
  • Nielsen, Jakob. “Usability 101: Introduction To Usability”. Nngroup.com. N.p., 2012. Web. 2 Dec. 2016.
  • “Usability Goals: Memorability”. Affordableusability.com. Web. 2 Dec. 2016.
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