Why Usability is Important

What is Usability

It is the study of how people interact with their environment. In digital, usability is quality attribute that measures how easy is to operate a user interface (web, mobile, tablet…).

6 usability components

  • Learnability: How easy is to figure out how to use the system.
  • Efficiency: How much time does it take to accomplish your goal.
  • Effectiveness:  The accuracy of users’ tasks while using a system.
  • Memorability: If you come back tomorrow, should you have to struggle to figure it out all over again.
  • Error management: How easy is to recover from mistakes.
  • Satisfaction: How satisfying is the experience.

Here are some questions that will help you to understand if you are doing grand in usability:

  • How easy is the site / app to use?
  • How easy is for each buyer persona to find the information s/he is looking for?
  • How easy is to buy / order / fill / enquire / share / contact …?
  • How easy is to navigate through the site?
  • How easy is for a visitor to know where they are, where they have been and where / what they should go / do?

Jakob Nielsen an expert on usability says:

On the Web, usability is a necessary condition for survival. If a website is difficult to use, people leave…The first law of e-commerce is that if users cannot find the product, they cannot buy it either.

How to do an usability audit:

Ask some representative and well-defined buyer personas to perform representative tasks with the design. Observe what the personas do, where they succeed, and where they have difficulties with the interface. Then let the users do the talking and take notes.

You might consider:

  • Navigation
  • Workflow
  • Error management
  • Consistency
  • Functionality
  • Control
  • Visual clarity
  • Language style

When you need to do it?

  • Before starting a new design, make paper prototypes / wireframes (you can use Axure) of one or more new design ideas and test them.
  • The less time you invest in these design ideas the better, because maybe these will change based on the test results.
  • Refine the design ideas through multiple iterations, gradually moving from low prototypes to high-fidelity designs.
  • Once you decide on and implement the final design, test it again.


In french cuisine, a dish is ready when the chef can’t add any other ingredient, in japanese cuisine, a dish is ready when the chef can’t remove any other ingredient from the dish without changing the essence of the dish.

2 thoughts on “Why Usability is Important

  1. Pingback: Questions to ask when reviewing a web design | Carlose Lopez | Blog

  2. Pingback: 5 Delivery Principles for a Digital Team | Carlose Lopez | Blog

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