BASIC PRINCIPLES OF
WHAT IS USABILITY?
Usability is the measure of the quality of a user's
experience when interacting with a product or system -
Whether a web site
Any user-operated device
IMPORTANCE OF USABILITY
According to Usability Expert Jakob Nielsen:
In the Web, usability is a necessary condition for
survival. If a website is difficult to use, people leave.
If the homepage of your website does not clearly
provide details about a company or about what it
offers and what users can do on the site, people will
leave your website.
If users get lost or confused while browsing your
website and they lack clarity they instantly leave the
If a website's content is difficult to read or it doesn't
answer important key questions, it immediately
drives away the users.
Note a pattern here?
If the website does not satisfy the users leaving
it is their first line of defense.
THE 4 CHARACTERISTICS OF USABILITY
Quick and easy to learn;
Efficient to use;
Allows rapid recovery from errors;
Easy to remember;
Don’t waste time
Use of white space Usabilit Don’t make me think
How do user’s think
Test early, Test Often
1.HOW DO USERS THINK?
Be it the Web or a physical
store user behavior and habits
remain the same.
When browsing a website,
users search for something
Users are mainly looking for
quality and credibility in a
Users don’t read, they scan.
While browsing the web, users
are impatient and are looking
for instant gratification
2. DON’T MAKE USERS THINK
• The web-page should be obvious and self-
Let’s take a look at an example. ABC Company claims to be “beyond channels, beyond
products, beyond distribution”. What does it mean? Since users tend to explore web-
sites according to the “F”-pattern, these three statements would be the first elements
users will see on the page once it is loaded
3. DON’T WASTE USER’S TIME
Users hate lengthy and
If you want users to test a
feature or a service make it
quick and easy. The simpler
the process, the more likely a
random visitor is to actually
try it out.
4. INFORMATION HIERARCHY
Usually websites provide two forms of content - static
and dynamic. Of that, some aspects of the user interface
attract attention more than others.
ABC.co perfectly uses the principle of focus.
The only element which is directly visible to
the users is the word “free” which works
attractive and appealing, but still calm
and purely informative.
Subtle hints provide users with enough
information of how to find more about the
5. FEATURE EXPOSURE
The fundamental principle of successful user interface design is to
clearly and immediately show all the features and functionalities
6. MAKE USE OF EFFECTIVE WRITING
Copy must be short, crisp and
concise (come to the point as
quickly as possible).
Break down content so
that it is easy to scan (use
multiple heading levels, use
visual elements and bullet
Use plain and objective
Pqr productions gets directly to the point. No cute words, language (a promotion
no exaggerated statements. Instead a price: just what
visitors are looking for
doesn’t need to sound like
advertisement; give your
users some reasonable and
objective reason why they
should use your service or
stay on your website)
Make user interfaces simple
and minimalistic. Complexity
leads to confusing,
Use only those features that are
absolutely vital and necessary.
Hide the complex features that
you cannot get rid of altogether.
Minimize visual noise.
Strive for simplicity instead of Reuse visual components
Don’t leave blank state blank.
8. WHITE SPACE
White space allows
breathing space between
Not only does it help to
reduce the cognitive load
for the visitors, but it
makes it easier to grasp
the content presented on
9. VISIBLE LANGUAGE
Organize: Refers to providing a clear and consistent
conceptual structure to the user.
Economize: Refer to showing or offering range of
functionalities with the least amount of cues and visual
Communicate: Refers to matching the presentation
with the capabilities of the user. The user interface must
keep in balance legibility, readability, typography,
symbolism, multiple views, and color or texture in order
to communicate successfully. Use max. 3 typefaces in a
maximum of 3 point sizes— a maximum of 18 words or
50-80 characters per line of text.
Use of conventional
designs don’t necessarily
make a website boring.
reduce the learning
curve and the need to
figure out how things work.
11. TEST EARLY TEST OFTEN
The TETO-principle should be applied to every web
design project. This helps in tracking how the users react
to the designs and interfaces and continue to improvise.
USERS BENEFITS FROM USABILITY
The benefits of usability include:
Users enjoy interacting with the web interface.
Since they get all the information easily, it ensures that
they are satisfied with it.
It ensures that they achieve their goals effectively and
It helps in cultivating confidence and trust in the product
or web site.
If your users are satisfied, they will become loyal
customers, and even recommend your product or service
PROVIDERS BENEFITS FROM USABILITY
As a provider, you may benefit from usability in many
Reduced development time and costs;
Reduced support costs;
Reduced user errors;
Reduced training time and costs;
Return on Investment.
Usability is a potent weapon that can save your
precious money, improve your competitive
position and improve customer loyalty. Now is
the time to invest in the research.