Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Battle Between Usability and User-Experience

Usability vs. user experience...

The main reasons why it is so hard to create usable products is that there is a conflict between a high-usability level and great user-experience. You might think this as strange, but there is a important difference between the two.

Usability is about the "ability to use" something. The aim for a usable product is to make it easy to use.

A product has a high level of usability when:

It requires less mental effort to use
the frequency of mistakes using it is less, or when the mistakes are less disastrous
it is more powerful, where "more powerful" means that it can be used to do more or do it faster
it is more learnable, that is, when a person can figure it out quicker
(source: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

Making usable products is thus fairly simple. You have clear metrics you need to achieve, and you can analyze how to get a good result.

User-experience is not like usability - it is about feelings. The aim here is to create happiness. You want people to feel happy before, during and after they have used your product. To do that you need to take all kinds of things into consideration. Things like:"   continued ...   (Via Baekdal)



Good UX, not so good usability. - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

Good UX, not so good usability.

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