Usability translates as the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which specified users achieve specified goals in particular environments.
What is Usability?
“Usability is an approach to product development that incorporates direct user feedback throughout the development cycle in order to reduce costs and create products and tools that meet user needs.” Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA)
5 Key Quality Components of Usability
Usability is defined by five quality components:
- Learnability: How easy is it for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time they encounter the design?
- Efficiency: Once users have learned the design, how quickly can they perform tasks?
- Memorability: When users return to the design after a period of not using it, how easily can they reestablish proficiency?
- Errors: How many errors do users make, how severe are these errors, and how easily can they recover from the errors?
- Satisfaction: How pleasant is it to use the design?
There are many other important quality attributes. A key one is utility, which refers to the design’s functionality: Does it do what users need? Usability and utility are equally important: It matters little that something is easy if it’s not what you want. It’s also no good if the system can hypothetically do what you want, but you can’t make it happen because the user interface is too difficult. To study a design’s utility, you can use the same user research methods that improve usability.
A Good User Experience is Invisible
Usability is a critical element of user experience. While usability relates to the ease of use of a product, the user experience reflects the overall satisfaction of the user while using the product. The least the user thinks about what he is doing, the better the experience.