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Advantages of usability

16 March 2011 | admin | Theory

Usability is a characteristic of a web site, software or device, which helps a user easily and successfully perform a task. Usability is also a number of means, helping identify problems, which make the product unusable. Specialists in this sphere not only identify and classify these problems, but also offer solutions to them.

Is your site losing visitors?

The most obvious advantage of usability methods is increase of number of users who can successfully and efficiently perform a task.

Office supplies store staples.com has conducted usability-testing of its site and found out the following. If you add just one sentence to a check-out procedure the number of users who quit at this stage decreases for 75%.

This example may seem very extreme. However, here’s the fact: even a slight flaw in design, no instruction or no button name, for instance, can prevent a user from performing a task, which is critical for your business. After Staples.com has corrected these drawbacks, the number of users, able to perform the check out successfully has rapidly increased, which led to profit increase. Beside a very obvious positive effect of usability, which can be counted, there’s another implicit effect which is harder to feel: pleasure of using a convenient web site. Easy and successful task performance gives user a positive experience, that later is transmitted into offline, for instance to a company store. Increase in company site convenience leads to increase in sales in real store.
Implementation of usability principles and methods is advantageous for users, clients and software developers.

Advantages for users
1. Increase in the number of users able to successfully perform a task
2. Decrease of time needed for task performance
3. Decrease of user errors
4. Less time for system study
5. Positive experience of users will increase the number of positive reviews and references
6. The system will earn user trust and users will use it more confidently

Advantages for clients
1. Increase in sales and registration
2. Increase in web site traffic
3. Increase in number of loyal users
4. Competitive advantage over other programs and web sites that are harder to use

Advantages for software developers
1. Less finance and time resources for design
2. Less money for produt maintenance
3. Guarantee for product success on the market

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