Defining Usability – A Key Factor in the Success of Your Website or Application
Wikipedia defines usability as “The extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use.” For the purpose of this blog, “product” is your company’s website or application and the “specified users” are your customers. In other words, usability has to do with the “user-oriented” experience and appeal that your products afford.
In essence, usabilility is critically important to successfully designing and delivering highly desirable, user-oriented digital products, services and experiences. So how do you know how successful your websites or applications are in terms of usability? You could wait for customer complaints, or you could take advantage of skilled evaluation.
Usability-related services include:
- Expert Reviews
- Competitive Analysis
- Accessibility Auditing
- Usability Testing
Two of the most effective ways to evaluate your website or application’s usability are to undergo an expert review or utilize usability testing. So what do these services entail and how they could benefit your company? Let’s find out.
Expert reviews provide a great starting point for development teams to receive instant feedback on design, navigation, content and accessibility. This approach does not involve interviewing real users, and, as a result, offers benefits in speed of delivery. It is also relatively low-cost initiative, making it ideal when development time scales or budgets are an issue.
So why do it?
Simply stated, poor usability can have financial consequences for an application or website, including incomplete transactions, poor customer retention and low productivity. Expert reviews provide a cost-effective approach for identifying usability issues that, if corrected will improve your application or website’s design before something goes wrong.
Usability testing provides detailed performance and preference data collected from real users as they interact with applications and websites. Fusion Alliance’s usability testing typically reveals 90% of all usability issues.
So why do it?
As with an expert review, usability testing can help prevent financial consequences caused by everything from incomplete transactions to low productivity. Even if your website or application doesn’t undergo usability testing, it will still be tested by users—however this kind of “testing” isn’t controlled and results might not become obvious to your company until damage, like lost profits, has already been done.
No matter what kind of technology-solution you’re considering for your business, it is important to remember that customer-facing technology is only beneficial if customers choose to use it. By creating a platform that allows your customers to reach their goals more effectively, efficiently and with greater satisfaction, you will be able to increase consumer interaction—a key aspect to business success.
SOUND OFF: Do you have an example of how a flawed website or application negatively affected your business? Share it with us by leaving a comment below.