What are Usability and Usability Testing - Website Usability and Testing Guide

What are Usability and Usability Testing?

A website should be easy and intuitive to navigate for the website user.  Jackob Neilson defines usability as the “quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use.” Although user’s opinion of a site can be helpful, usability refers specifically to how well people engage with a website.  Neilson develops five “quality components” that we will use throughout this guide as benchmarks for a usable site.  These include:

  • Learnability: How easy is it for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time on the site.

  • Efficiency: Once users have learned the design, how quickly can they perform tasks?

  • Memorability: How easily can return users  reestablish proficiency?

  • Errors: How many, severe and permanent are user error?

  • Satisfaction: How pleasant is it to use the design?
     

Each of these components represent concrete methods to articulate the ways in which your site is, or can be usable, as well as benchmarks to measure your site’s usability.

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