Why Usability Matters

At The Technology Studio we believe that usability is one of the most important elements to any technology development . Why? Consumers are lazy, impatient and time pressured so if they can’t instantly figure out how to do what they want to do on your site they will leave.

Despite its importance, usability is often a factor that get’s overlooked in favour of the sexier aspect of development – design. Whilst the two aren’t mutually exclusive, many designers give little thought to usability – understandable as they are paid to produce attractive, elegant, inventive and exciting designs. Clients also tend to primarily focus their energies on the aesthetics of their site (everybody, especially Marketers, likes pretty shiny things!) leaving it to us as the developers to argue the case for the user!

Over recent years we have adopted Steve Krug’s book ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ as our usability bible – it’s well worth a read.

We now make a point of preaching usability to our clients at the start of every project and have pulled together a short presentation to help us get our point of view across which we’ve uploaded to slideshare.net

Whilst we have 18 tips in the presentation here are our top 5:

  • Make your site as intuitive and effective as Google or Amazon
  • Omit needless words
  • Create obvious hierarchies and intuitive navigation
  • Make new, important or valuable things REALLY OBVIOUS
  • Always user test