“Easy” does it!

Usability= Ease of Use

Here’s how I applied the five quality components of usability to my Blog, once again, taking into account my audience:

  1. Learn ability – knowing that my instructor is a fan of Apple products, I had selected a design that uses the general look and feel of an apple web page therefore making first time navigation a breeze.
  2. Efficiency – with familiarity come speed and accuracy which translates to efficiency.  The design of my blog achieves this rather quickly as it is a user friendly and quickly recognizable template.
  3. Memorability – very high chance as many users have apple products or navigated through similar websites, allowing blog viewer to return with ease.  Like riding a bicycle!
  4. Error – Low probability of errors as this blog takes a very linear approach, a fixed side bar and the option to “go back” at any time.
  5. Satisfaction – Visually appealing with good quality graphics, catchy titles using metaphors, inspirational quotes and great use of color and color contrast.

The Accessibility Factor

Accessibility = Usable without modification, by as many people as possible
Accessibility benefits everyone!  This is why the design approach I took on my blog is to consider all users regardless of their physical or technical abilities.  There are four characteristics to accessible websites, allow me to explain how these were applied to my design blog, not only when access on computers but on mobility devices as well:

  1. Perceptibility – I’ve incorporated the use of redundant coding methods such as ALT Text and ALT Tags for Images. Position of controls and information can be perceived by users who are sitting or standing.
  2. Operability – Applied good affordances (ability to undo or go back).   Position of controls and information can be perceived by users who are sitting or standing.
  3. Simplicity – KISS (Keep it Simple Smarty) Both in design and language.  Blog takes a conversational approaching at a level accommodate a large audience.
  4. Forgiveness – Very user friendly, always option to go back and a fixed sidebar to assist with navigation & consistency.

As I continue developing the design blog, I will cross reference with the Web Accessibility Guidelines – W3C website and complete the Disability Accommodation checklist to keep the site accessibly.

Know your audience

Knowing your audience is key!  Before designing any of my e-lessons (or this blog for that matter) I’ll be sure to understand who is my audience in terms of:

  1. Technical abilities – Web Surfers, Novice/  Occasional Users, Expert/ Frequent Users,
  2. Information Seeking Mode – Sherlock(Investigative, self directed and knows what they are looking for) or Tarzan (Serendipitous, not directed, happens to find things)
  3. Learning Styles – VAK _ Visual, Audio or Kinesthetic/ Tactile

As my blog is a journal of my experiential reflections throughout the course, people who will be viewing my blog will be Visual Design enthusiasts, looking to join in on my learning journey, comment or add thoughts.  Therefore this is why it’s important to determine what information seeking modes they may prefer.  In this case, as my instructor will be reviewing and marking my blog, so I would best describe user to be Investigative (Sherlock) self directed, well informed on topic and knows what to look for and therefore it is designed for the Expert and Frequent User – wants info fast, quick searches, high accuracy scan able text and use of sub menus.
At the end of the day, the design of a website is not about the bells and whistles, its about:  Effective Communication, Meaning,

  • Reason!