READ: Usability


Last quarter we had a discussion where I asked you about what Web design meant and who the stakeholders are for a Web site; ring a bell?

Hopefully among the stakeholders that you identified you included the end-user or simply the user, who is, in many cases, also known as the customer or consumer. 

Why do users come to a Web site? Why do any of us do anything? We have a need for something. Users go to a Web site to acquire something, for example, information or a product. In other words they need to accomplish a task. This is quintessentially the end-user's goal, and usability expert Jared Spool describes the behavior of a web site user as a hunter seeking it's prey in often unfamiliar or difficult terrain. So in order to satisfy the user as a stakeholder, first and foremost a Web site must provide the customer with what she wants, and as quickly and as easily as possible. 

Go to the next link to find out the definition of usability.

CC By-NC 2008, Jared Stein. Web Design, 
Spool, Jared. Designing for the Scent of Information. User Interface Engineering, 2004.