Usability design is a crucial part of user experience design. User experience design focuses on a deep understanding of the user’s needs, wants, and abilities. Usability or user-centred design is the process of designing something from the perspective of how it will eventually be used by an actual person. 

Simply put, usability differs from user experience because it considers a product’s usefulness in addition to everything else covered by user experience design. 

Who is Your User?

When designing for usability, you should keep the user’s psychological profile and physiology in mind. Again, it’s about their needs and what makes a really fantastic project connect with its users is the implementation of usability.

Usability projects are designed for 3 things:  efficiency of use, ease of learning, and general satisfaction of use.

Questions To Ask Yourself

  • When developing your product ask yourself the following four questions:
  • Is my project quick and easy to learn? 
  • Is my project efficient to use? 
  • Does my project allow for rapid recovery from errors?
  • Is my project easy to remember? 
  • If you or your users answer yes to all four questions, you’re off to a good start! 

What Came First – The Design or Task?

If you’re starting your project you may wonder what’s the best way to begin? Should you focus on design first? 

Start by focusing on the task first, and the design second. A well-designed product is more than just a pretty face. It should be easy to navigate and informative and help your users complete a specific task. In order to meet your users’ needs, you must make their task completion your primary target. 

When To Test

You should always be testing for usability. No project is ever truly completed. Every project needs to continually evolve and improve. User behaviour changes, and when it does, your project needs to change too. For example, you may be working on a project where your client has design requests that, if implemented, will render a project useless.  

One way to express the importance of usability design to a client is to share its potential benefits: increased productivity, increased profitability, reduced training costs, increased satisfaction.

The ISO Recommendation

Sharing the benefits and importance of usability can help to create a healthy balance between the user’s needs and wants, and the client’s needs and wants. It’s a juggling act but in the end, our clients and their users are after the same thing – to be happy and satisfied.

Usability has become so critical in design that there are even ISO standards regarding user experience design. ISO (International Organization for Standardization) coordinates worldwide industrial and commercial standards. They detail standards on human-centred usability methods that are recommended for product design and evaluation. They also discuss the advantages, disadvantages, and other factors relevant to using each usability method.

So remember, focus on your users. Incorporate your users early on in your design process. Identify their needs and wants and incorporate those into your design. Always perform usability testing with your users and make modifications based on their feedback. 

We at Bwired understand the need to implement usability into all our client’s projects. If you have any questions about usability or need an awesome project completed, contact us at bwired.ca and we’ll be happy to help!

About Bwired Technologies

Celebrating its 10th year, Bwired Technologies empowers digital leaders by creating competitive advantage through the design and development of robust web, mobile, and digital solutions. The company’s Rhyno Cloud™ also integrates high-speed hosting, cybersecurity, maintenance and support into one fully-managed solution. Visit Bwired.ca

About Dan Duran

At the dynamic cross-section of Digital Technology, you’ll find Dan. An experienced technology strategist with a strong understanding of business and agile software management. Dan founded Bwired in 2009. He holds an iMBA degree from the University of Illinois, a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Software Product Management Specialization from the University of Alberta.