Added on April 20, 2020 - Category:

Usability is the ease with which people can use a particular tool or any other human-made object in order to achieve a specific goal.

Usability characteristics

usability ux design

We say a system is usable when it has most (or all) these characteristics

  • Respects Accessibility
  • Has Cause and Effect
  • Has Clarity
  • Is Compatible
  • Has Consistency
  • Is Controllable
  • Follows Conventions
  • Allows for Drill Down
  • Is Easy to Learn
  • Is Efficient
  • Creates Engagement
  • Has Error Clarity
  • Communicates Error Magnitude
  • Is Error Tolerant
  • Has Functionality
  • Is Human Friendly
  • Has Information Density
  • Is Informative
  • Has Navigability
  • Is Pleasing
  • Has Stability
  • Provides Value for Effort

Rules for an usable system

  • Allow customizable controls, including keyboard shortcuts.
  • Avoid interruptions whenever possible – e.g. forced logins/pop-ups.
  • Be aware of in-app browsers and limitations (e.g. scrolling) in mobile design.
  • Consider server capabilities in terms of page load time and downtime.
  • Conduct thorough usability testing
  • Make forms easy to fill out.
  • Make links active.
  • Mimic the real world in terms of concepts, symbols, and language.
  • Provide help documentation that is easy to understand.
  • Present immediately understandable, jargon-free messages and actions users can take – one main action per screen.
  • Provide a back button to undo actions.
  • Show clear contact options.
  • Use chunking and emphasize key information at the beginning and end of interactive sequences.
  • Use proper font size, color, contrast, white space, etc.
  • Use user personas.
  • Work with a clear understanding of user goals and show this in your design.

You can find additional info on how to measure usability here

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