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What Is Usability?

One of the foremost common myths in UX is that good usability is more pleasing to the eye. It is impossible for something to “look usable.” If someone says that about your design, ignore it. When users are surveyed about which design is “most usable,” their opinions are more associated with beauty than effectiveness. This suggests we cannot trust user opinions about how usable a design is.


Usability is measured by what people do:

  • If more people buy something in an uglier design, it’s more usable.
  • If people read more in an uglier design, it’s more usable.
  • If more people register via the uglier design, it’s more usable.


Sometimes, you’ll be forced to settle between beauty and usefulness. Always choose usability.


Usability = Cognitive Load

“Cognitive load refers to the quantity of mental effort and processing power required to complete a task or learn new information.

For example:

  • It takes less work to continue what you’re doing than to try to do something different.
  • It takes less work to seek out something again than it did to seek out it the primary time.
  • It takes less work to read simple words than to read complicated words.
  • It takes less work to agree than it does to complain.

Every detail in your design (and in your life) should reduce the quantity of cognitive load between the user (or yourself) and positive goals.

Usability is every detail, every moment, whenever.


Simple, Easy, Fast, or Minimal

A word you might hear in UX is heuristics. A heuristic is an approach or technique for solving a drag. For example, let’s say you would like to urge more people to complete a process with many steps, such as checkout, registration, or getting through the body scanners at the airport.

(i.e., you would like to extend conversion.)

Below are four ways you’ll believe it (heuristics), each with advantages and drawbacks.

Simpler: Fewer Steps

As a UX designer, it’s only a matter of time before someone brings you a seven-page registration flow that must be simplified.


You could:

  • Remove any questions that aren’t necessary, like confirming your email address.
  • Detect information, just like Mastercard, rather than posing for it.
  • Automatically format answers properly, like a telephone number, rather than posing for them in several chunks (or using errors).


The disadvantage of simplification is that it’d collect less information or take longer to create. And if you

Refrain from confirming that email address; a typo can ruin the entire registration.

Easier: More Obvious Steps

It is nearly always possible to form a more prominent issue. Just pretend you’re designing for one among the blokes from Duck Dynasty.


You could:

  • Allow them to choose their country from an inventory rather than asking them to type it.

Browsing, Searching, or Discovery

His can mean a spread of things within the world, so for the needs of this lesson, let’s clarify:



This is once you attend Ikea to see in the least the model rooms

“just to urge ideas,” and you almost certainly walk out with a bunch of random crap anyway.


Searching begins once you attend Ikea, trying to find a replacement sofa that will fit in your absurdly small apartment.


This is once you find the sofa you’re trying to find and also buy the clever little nested end-tables from an equivalent showroom because they’re so damn intelligent and nested as if those are belongings you need in your life.


When you visit a web store simply because its products look nice because you’re following trends, or dreaming of the day when a $2,000 watch will finally complete your life, you’re browsing.

A browsing user will look at pictures individually, starting at the upper left. Some users might be skipped, but that’s okay. Attractive photos will receive extra attention, even a click.

To design for browsing:

  1. Make scanning easy and keep the content quick and visual.
  2. Don’t overcrowd the page with an excessive amount of shit.
  3. Specialize in the aspects of the products that make an emotional appeal. If that’s style, specialize in photos.
  4. If that’s power (like boat engines or guns), provide that info as clear labels. If that’s brand names, clearly show the logos.
  5. If it’s craftsmanship, magnify the handcrafted details.

And so on.



When someone is trying to seek out something they need in mind, it’d appear to be browsing, but eye-tracking studies show a different behavior: they’re hunting. A searching user will ignore tons of products or pictures. Organization in


Consistency and Expectations

Consistency is that the concept of a design looks equivalent from page to page, device to device, or user to user. And generally, it’s an honest thing. Once I log in during this time, I expect a site or an app to be equivalent to the last time. It helps me find the menu, navigate to things I prefer, and quickly skip the advertising at the beginning. Branding-wise, it also helps me recognize the corporation, trust the content, and know that I came to the proper place.


Patterns Require Consistency

A brain may be a pattern-recognition machine. It’s designed to experience something once and then be better at doing an equivalent thing again. That’s why the menu should be in the same place on every page and screen, colors should indicate warnings and importance in an equivalent way everywhere, and why next time you’ll not ignore the sock on the doorknob of your parents’ room.


Consistency creates expectations. When the user expects something to figure out a particular way, and it does, that’s good usability. Consistency may be a Tool, Not a Rule.


If someone slaps you in the face, you’ll cringe when she raises her hand. You expect her to try to do it again. If you want the user to expect something equivalent, design it equivalently. But often you want something else.


Your app and your website don’t have to look different. You click one and swipe the other; differences can communicate that difference. One user is unlikely to use your app on an Android phone and an iPhone at an equivalent time, for instance, so if the features of these devices use slightly different approaches, fine! In any case, the devices are different.


A landing page, a home page, and a checkout have different goals, so don’t worry that they appear slightly different—they should!


There is a difference between a nasty UX design and a UX design that works against the user. The difference is psychology. Anti-UX prevents mistakes and bad decisions by using ordinary UX principles, within the other way.


The Good, The Bad, and therefore the Anti

Let’s say you run a members-only website for clown car mechanics. It’s tons of great content on one tiny site. Members pay a subscription monthly until they cancel it. the worth might look small, but you get such a lot out of it! You don’t want people to cancel their accounts, but it’s necessary to permit it. Otherwise, all of them might repaint their faces with one tear and a frowny mouth. Let’s say we’re designing that cancellation process.


Good UX

The form should be clear and straightforward. The “cancel my subscription button should be somewhere logical (like account settings). You ought to get an email to verify the cancellation. Everything should be easy to read, relevant, and so on.

Bad UX

Suppose you’re an unethical designer—which I hate—then you’ll make the shape complex and confusing. You’ll hide the “cancel button somewhere weird or make it tiny and hard to ascertain. And it could “fail when the user makes a small mistake, so they need to start from the start.

The problem

In the real world, bad UX will create fewer cancellations than good UX, which is best for the corporation.

Uh oh. Extra money for a worse experience? That’s not good.



Accessibility is the idea of designing for people who have less-than-typical abilities in one way or another. This is not necessarily a disability. Anything that would make a typical design hard to use in any way might fall into the category of accessibility. So consider this a really general overview.

For beginners, I feel the most important thing is to realize accessibility and include it whenever you want.

Accessibility may be a major consideration for general public sites like governments and universities and for any site with many users, such as Facebook, Instagram, news sites, etc.

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