Usability refers to how well users can learn and use a product to achieve their goals. It also refers to how satisfied users are with that process.
Usability measures the quality of a user's experience when interacting with a product or system, including:
- Software applications
- Mobile technologies
- Any user-operated device
Usability is a Combination of Factors
It is important to realize that usability is not a single, one-dimensional property of a user interface. Usability is a combination of factors including:
- Intuitive design: a nearly effortless understanding of the architecture and navigation of the site
- Ease of learning: how fast a user who has never seen the user interface before can accomplish basic tasks
- Efficiency of use: How fast an experienced user can accomplish tasks
- Memorability: after visiting the site, if a user can remember enough to use it effectively in future visits
- Error frequency and severity: how often users make errors while using the system, how serious the errors are, and how users recover from the errors
- Subjective satisfaction: If the user likes using the system
The key to developing highly usable sites is employing user-centered design.