Posted in Discussion Questions

Quesenbery and ArunPrabu

In our two readings for today both Quesenbery and ArunPrabu stress the importance of usability being flexible and dependent on your audience.

Quesenbery defines usability as “the quality or characteristic of a product that meets the needs of the people who use it, allowing them to work— or play— with it for their own purposes in a way that is appropriate for them.”

ArunPrabu uses the formal definition from ISO 9241-11: “the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use.”

What I enjoyed out of the second article was the design considerations that were given as examples. It helped me better clarify and put into motion the uses of the five E’s in the real world. “Improving usability is expensive but far more economical than producing a product that creates havoc in organization and frustration for users,” was also something I pulled from the second article that stuck with me throughout reading.

I’m glad I read Quesenbery first, because it gave me a basic overview of usability and the five E’s in businesses/design. Not only that, but an in depth analysis of how to use a user-centered approach.

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Questions:

1. Quesenbery states that there are simple standards for usability, but in the article is seems you can narrow down generalized scenarios on how to approach usability in design and the workplace. Why can’t we write design and development guidelines for usability?

2. Quesenbery also talks about having a balance between the five E’s; effective, efficient, engaging, error tolerant, easy to learn. By balancing them, you can set a direction for designing. Do you think you can have a complete equal balance between those five? Do you think some are more important than others?

3. Which article did you find more informative?

4. We touched a lot on Monday about overall design schemes of the usability.gov website. And looking at the blog article we had to read, the discussion popped up in my head again especially when my eyes were automatically drawn to the ads on the side. I wanted to clarify for mostly myself. Do usability and design aesthetic go hand in hand when it comes to usable software? Or is design aesthetics tied into usability?

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