Many of the things that drive users mad are there on purpose. Designers are often trying to get users to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily choose to do if they had the choice. So to encourage users to do the things that benefit the company, business, web developers, or the owners, designers back them into a corner and, trick, manipulate and coerce.
Donald Norman is deservedly considered to be one of the greats of usability design. He is founder of the Nielsen Norman Group and he is also a former professor of Cognitive Science (among many, many, many other things). In short, he’s a guy who has his whole life researching what makes users tick and how to make products that they find to be ultimately usable and pleasurable.
This is a question we hear a lot. Unfortunately there’s no simple answer to this question. Firstly, that’s because there’s no globally agreed definition of the two terms. That means that our explanation often needs to change depending on the user’s perspective. Secondly, it’s also because there’s a lot of common area between the two fields even when using the most common definitions.
We know that a lot of lip service is paid to the idea of accessibility. That’s building online and offline products which can be used easily, not just by the fully able but also by those people with people with disabilities. It’s often assumed that building accessible products is prohibitively expensive but that’s often not the case and the truth is that a more accessible product often provides a better user experience for both fully abled as well as the disabled.
Usability Testing: Recruiting a Sample of Users
Usability testing involves a sample of test users. These users should possess characteristics that are found in your eventual buyers, users, and/or visitors. Many products and services have a variety of different user types or groups, so it is important to recruit a range of test users to tap into these variations. Ideally, time and budget permitting, when dealing with a product with multiple user groups, you should test them separately to ascertain how they perform on certain tasks and how they feel about the product features specific to their particular group.