Week 4 – Website Usability
“Usability means that people can use the product easily and can perform their task in expected time” (Marcus p. 232).
It is common sense to assume that if a website doesn’t survive to keep users on their website, there is a problem that has to do with the usability of their website. How do you find out what the issue is? How do you find out what users want?
According to Aaron Marcus, “usability evaluation is becoming an important part of Interaction Design to find out user’s needs and requirements” (Marcus p. 231). This means that in order to evaluate the usability of the website, you must first evaluate your target audiences needs and requirements. It requires the creator of the website to put in extra effort to better understand their users and the factors associated with how users perceive a product on a website.
Carole A. George sums up the factors into different dot points. She states that factors such as learnability, effectiveness, efficiency, memorability, attitude, satisfaction, errors and usefulness are just some of the characteristics that users look for when looking at a product on a website (George 2008, p. 5-6). In order to understand these characteristics better, creators of a website must research in detail about their target audience, about their product, about the information and design of their website. The website needs to be easy for users to access and the information should not be detailed, as users tend to skim through websites instead of reading it like a book. If it were a scholarly website, it would be a different story. In order for a website to survive, the information has to be easy to use, this means determining how well your target audience is with technology.
According to research done by Carole A. George, she states that there are three characteristics that must be followed in order for users to have a useful and easy experience on the website. She discusses that we need to determine the characteristics of the target audience, use evaluation methods to observe and record users’ performance in different stages of development and always redesign and never stick to one cycle (George 2008, p. 10).
This is a good method in figuring out user performance on a website. Create a beta version of the website and see how users interact, assess them with surveys for constant feedback for continuous improvement.
List of References:
Marcus, A. ed., (2013). Design, User Experience and Usability: Web, Mobile and Product Design. 4th ed. California: Springer, pp.231, 232.
Geroge, C. (2008). User-Centred Library Websites: Usability Evaluation Methods. 1st ed. [ebook] Great Britain: Chandos Publishing (Oxford) Limited, pp.5, 6, 10. Available at: https://books.google.com.au/books?id=meuiAgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=website+usability+evaluation&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj6qe-a3bPTAhXQI1AKHSxCBQIQ6AEIJDAA#v=onepage&q=website%20usability%20evaluation&f=false [Accessed 20 Apr. 2017].