Friday, October 12, 2007

Usability and User Experience

Usability refers to the product’s ability to fulfill target user’s goals and needs with effectiveness and efficiency in a specified context of use (ISO 9241-11). Usability is not only a property of the product itself: usability is a property of the entire system, which includes the product, the user, the user’s goals and the context of use. In the mobile environment, the changing context of use sets a demanding challenge for the development. In addition, the device limitations, such as input mechanisms and display size, make application development harder than in the PC world.

User experience (UE) aims for a more holistic view in which usability can be seen as a part of the user experience. UE emphasizes emotional aspects, such as the desirability, usage flow and impressiveness of the product. The ability to create a positive emotional impact on the user is a key factor in differentiating the product from the competition.

Investing in usability and UE work results in savings in overall application development costs. When the development is based on verified user needs and requirements, the development work can be prioritized and focused in the most important product features. Unnecessary work and re-work can be minimized. Satisfied customers boost the positive brand image and create customer loyalty.

(Article from Nokia Forum. Copyright with Nokia.) URL:

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