Thursday, 21 October 2010

Usability is like cooking - Nielsen's great analogy

A nice little article in which Jakob Nielsen makes a comparison which holds up pretty well. Just because you can't produce a gourmet meal doesn't mean you shouldn't cook for yourself.

He says usability is like cooking dinner:
  • Everybody needs the outcome
  • Anybody can perform the most basic activities
  • Anyone can learn these basics pretty quickly
  • There's a level of excellence beyond the basics
  • Skill levels form a continuum from beginner to expert  

My goal at the University is to get everyone - developers, web publishers, content writers, everyone - able to do beans on toast at least. And to see value in doing it for themselves.

If Nielsen is a gourmet chef, then I'm just an enthusiast who throws dinner parties for friends.

And right now, there aren't enough people like me to go around. So if the University community doesn't want to go hungry, self catering is the order of the day. I'm sure there are a few pans burning around the place as I type :)

Anyone can do usability - article by Jakob Nielsen

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