What is usability?

Kurt Kragh Sørensen's picture

There’s something wrong with our computer systems. Much of our time is filled with frustration – websites and intranets that don’t let us find the information we want, word processors that lose hours of work with a click of the mouse, remote controls that have more buttons than we could possibly need.

‘Usability’ is an umbrella term that encompasses two related concepts:

  • Usability is an attribute of the quality of a system:
    “We need to create a usable intranet”
  • Usability is a process or set of techniques used during a design and development project:
    “We need to include usability activities in this project”

This second aspect is sometimes described as usability engineering, and is more accurately described as user-centred design.

Read the rest of the article on Step Two Designs website



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