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. You need a website which is easy to use! 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 website, 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 an interface. 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 usable:
* 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 site;
* 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 to others that need a website or service you promote.
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.
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