Everyday Usability

by John W. Stout

Who has the time to spend a week learning how to use something they just paid $X,XXX for?! I don't.

Every day something new is unveiled, but not every day does that something new create the reaction you would expect of these “fantastic, look what you can do, cutting-edge” items. The products and services that take off are easy to pick up, learn and use. The iProducts and the Twitters and the whole realm of social media are intensely complex behind the scenes. But up front, they’re accessible. They’re USABLE and people are USING them.

The speed of advancement we experience now has magnified the need for human factors/usability people.

When did personal computers become popular? Mainstream acceptance happened when knowledge of all the codes, abbreviations and structures behind operating the system became unnecessary. Accessibility came with the revolution of graphical user interfaces like Windows OS and Mac OS.

More than ever we get interest from clients when they learn that we have human factors/usability personnel available for projects. I think that's good, because it suggests that we are all learning this lesson.

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