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Theory

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.

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About usability and attention

16 March 2011 | admin | Theory

What is attention?
Attention enables us to process information about our environment. We recognize things only when we give some attention to them. Attention can be compared to flashlight, which we direct at an object to single it out. After we focused the flashlight on the object we start analyzing what we see.

Usability- testing

16 March 2011 | admin | Theory

The essence of usability testing lies in watching users while their interaction with the system during performance of real tasks. Usability testing allows to find out if the system really works, i.e. if it solves the assigned design tasks, whether it’s productive enough and, simply, if users can perform their tasks at all.

Public accessibility of a web site

16 March 2011 | admin | Theory

In 1999 Australian Human Rights Council demanded from Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) to re-design the official Olympic Games web site because of the user, who complained that he couldn’t use the web site as he was visually impaired. SOCOG refused to re-design the site, but eventually lost the case in court and was forced to re-design it and pay 20 000$ compensation.

Professional organizations in usability-sphere.

16 March 2011 | admin | Theory

There’re several organizations that define a vector for the whole usability-community and promote user oriented design methods in industry and business.

ACM — Association for Computing Machinery

Information architecture (IA)

16 March 2011 | admin | Theory

Information architecture (IA) – is a science studying information organization in order to facilitate people in fulfilling their information needs. Design of information architecture for a web site consists of content analyses and development of structure that will assist user in solving his information tasks (search for goods, search for an answer etc.).

History of usability and HCI

16 March 2011 | admin | Theory

HCI as an independent branch of science that began to develop in late 70’s – early 80’s. It started with the recognition of problems that users of complicated and powerful systems were experiencing. Usability is based on research of communication theories, graphics, industrial design, linguistics, social sciences and cognitive psychology. This knowledge helps designers create technically efficient (i.e. enabling to solve assigned tasks) and user operable (i.e. users can solve tasks) systems.

Usability standards and recommendations

16 March 2011 | admin | Theory

There are several universally accepted usability and accessibility standards, which are implemented in interface design. Some of them are advisory, while others are compulsory. Type of the requirements can be defined by the country the product is created for or by the type of the system. For instance, a company, designing a corporate system, is more demanding than a web-studio, designing an online store. Companies, designing software and web sites for public use must conform to the standards described in this article.