Usability refers to the level of ease with which a user can interact with the graphic user interface of an application, website or web development solution. Conducting a usability study on your recent website project is especially important in the competitive environment of web development in London The study of usability promotes methods of improving efficiency and ease of use during the design process.

There are many attributes that are measured to establish whether usability has been successfully implemented. These include learnability, efficiency, memorability, errors, utility and satisfaction.

Learnability – refers to the level of ease with which first time users can interact with the interface and how easily they find it to perform basic tasks.

Efficiency – is measured in the speed at which users who are familiar with the interface can perform tasks.

Memorability – refers to how quickly a user who hasn’t been in contact with the interface for a while can re-establish competence.

Errors – relates to the amount of errors users make and how easily they can recover from these errors.

Utility – refers to the functionality of the design.

Satisfaction – is measured in the pleasure experienced with interfacing with a good website design.

These are just fancy theories for considering who the intended users are, what they know, what they want or need to know, how fast can they learn, etc. A website designed with usability in mind, is known to have a user-centred design, making the website user friendly. A user friendly designed website or application will assist in reaching the proposed target audience, ensuring that the purpose of the website isn achieved.

Usability is imperative from a user’s perspective as it determines their ability to perform tasks accurately and efficiently and enjoying the procedure at the same time. Usability also determines the success of the website or web development application. It also determines the productivity of a workforce in the case of internal applications. What this boils down to is that effective implementation of usability saves time, effort and money and increases revenue and user efficiency. All of these elements are vital to remain competitive in the Web
Development environment of London.

The key principle for improving usability is to implement evaluation phases from the early stages of design. This provides the web designers in London with user and client feedback at an early stage, which can then be implemented and refined as the project progresses, resulting in a more user-centred design.

Usability testing should preferably be done with the actual users of the website or application; however there are many other ways of doing it. Testing with the actual users ensures more realistic feedback, which can then be knowledgeably applied to the design. A common mistake at this stage would be to listen to what the users say, instead of researching their reaction. Usability experts should bear in mind that users are not designers; however designers may possibly be users. Users have no insight on the best web design practices that should be applied for the specific type of application.

Schedules and budgets can make it seem difficult or unnecessary to consider usability, however it should then be considered that effective implementation of usability saves time, effort and money and increases revenue and user efficiency.

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