CubeFollowing on from my blog post outlining an A-Z of Digital, here is “U is for Usability”.

Usability is something that we have learnt and adapted within the human race for thousands of years through using and shaping tools and every day items. With the development of the computer, usability relates to the way in which software is used and displays information on a device (hardware) for us.

The Usability and UX (User Experience) of devices is key.  If a someone can’t use the application or device they may start looking for an alternative that they can use.

usability is the degree to which a software can be used by specified consumers to achieve quantified objectives with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a quantified context of use.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usability

As technology evolves we are presented with new ways of visualising information and interacting with it.

The Digital Era is seeing bigger steps towards these visualisations through Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Holographic’s and Mixed Reality.  This in a way makes it easier to present information and interfaces to users, as real world environments can be replicated or enhanced with digital overlays. The expansion of these mediums are also seeing other interfaces such as gesture and wand controls that open the possibilities for usability of applications and systems.

Voice controls are providing different usability and UX interfaces that at the mention of key phrases which can control an event or action such as turning off lights. Other developments are seeing implants (Jackables) providing a different way of interfacing with devices and turning on/off things as you walk near them.

The challenge going forward is keeping up with the rate of change and keeping the usability and UX up to date and relevant.