Tag Archives: usability

It’s not good enough to just be usable. Design has to fit into peoples’ lives.

“Design is less and less about solving problems, testing less and less about eliminating frustration. It’s all becoming more and more about making a good experience for users… Now it’s not good enough to just be usable. The design has to fit into peoples’ lives. It actually has to make people happy, and anticipate their needs.” – Dana Chisnell

Read more in Dana’s UX Magazine article “Beyond Frustration: Three levels of happy design.”

Eyetracking Metrics for Usability Studies

Eyetracking Metrics for Usability Studies

Eyetracking has been a heavily debated subject within the field of User Experience Design and in particular within the Usability community.  Some argue that eye fixations don’t necessarily equal attention or understanding, and question whether eyetracking should be used to support traditional usability findings.  However, the other side argues that when eye tracking data is used in conjuction with traditional usability techniques, it can provide deep insight into where participants look during a task which can help us determine why usability issues are present within an interface.

If you’re interested in reading more about the various arguments regarding eye tracking’s use in usability studies, take a look at these great articles:
Assuming you’ve bought into the value that eyetracking can bring to usability studies, the rest of this post will explore the specific eyetracking metrics you can use to best support usability findings.

The hygiene factor of usability

“Old-school usability espouses the idea that user activities are onerous tasks that they want to get out of the way as soon as possible. While this is true in some cases, usability is now widely understood to be more of a hygiene factor–something that can cause dissatisfaction if missing, but its presence cannot take you beyond lack of dissatisfaction.” – Harry Brignull

Read more in Harry’s article “‘Just add an egg’ – Usability, User Experience and Dramaturgy”

This quote was submitted by an inspireUX reader. Use the form on the right sidebar to submit a quote that may appear in a future post!

Usability testing is a means of understanding the goodness of a design’s fit to the intended users’ problems

“Usability testing should not be a stage gate in your design and development process. It should be a tool with which to gather helpful, diagnostic information from your target users. It’s a means of understanding the goodness of a design’s fit to the intended users’ problems.” – Paul J. Sherman

Read more in Paul’s article “Testing Your Own Designs Redux.”

Peripheral insights often feed a designer’s instincts most

“Many of the most compelling usability test insights come not from the elements that are evaluated, but rather those not evaluated... The unintended conclusions—the peripheral insights—are often what feed a designer’s instincts most.” - Robert Hoekman Jr.

“Many of the most compelling usability test insights come not from the elements that are evaluated, but rather those not evaluated… The unintended conclusions—the peripheral insights—are often what feed a designer’s instincts most.” – Robert Hoekman Jr.

Read more in Robert’s article “The Myth of Usability Testing.”

Focus on understanding the behavior and performance of people using a design

“Whatever your team might call it—usability testing, design testing, getting feedback—the most effective input for informed design decisions is data about the behavior and performance of people using a design to reach their own goals.” - Dana Chisnell

“Whatever your team might call it—usability testing, design testing, getting feedback—the most effective input for informed design decisions is data about the behavior and performance of people using a design to reach their own goals.” – Dana Chisnell

This quote is from Dana’s article “Usability Testing Demystified.”