Thursday, 29 September 2011

Usability and user experience

"The difference (and relationship) between usability and use experience". An article on a website called Usability Geek. Maybe not something that immediately strikes you as something for anyone other than a specialist, but worth a look as the author does a good job of placing the role of usability in the wider context of website management and marketing.


The author, Justin Mifsud, must be a bit of a geek (or an academic!) judging by the number of articles he faithfully references in this piece.

But it is worth a quick read as he does a good job of explaining the relationship between activities such as marketing, design, ergonomics and usability - part of the range of expertise that goes together to make a great (or rotten) user experience.

I particularly liked this diagram, which comes from a 2008 Nielsen Norman Group conference.
Usability and user experience


Justin also references a fantastic scenario by Jared Spool which I think illustrates the relationship far better than any diagram or definition. In this blog post, Jared tells the story of someone buying a camera online without any problems at all (great website usability) and then has a complete nightmare when she goes to pick it up from the local store later the same day (terrible customer experience).


Related - accessibility and usability
Justin also wrote a related post which is also a good read when considering the context of usability:

The Difference Between Web Site Usability And Accessibility - usabilitygeek.com

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