Blog 1

First theorists trying to define usability focused on the work aspects of using a computer. Gould and Lewis (1985) argue that programs should be useful and easy to learn. It is important to create software that is easily usable for the least comfortable group of potential users. More modern approaches, as the five E framework proposed by Quesenbery (2003) also take into consideration user enjoyment. The E’s are:
Effective – Accurate
Efficient – Fast
Engaging – Enjoyable
Error tolerant – Error preventing
Easy to learn – Usable for everyone
As Quesenbery (2011) himself argues in a different work he made, it is important to consider all five E’s but also indicate which are more important in a given situation. Considering call centre’s database, an essential principle is efficiency because customers should not wait while it loads.

Figure 1 is an example of bad usability. Ineffective (not updated since 2012), inefficient (too much text to read before finding information), unengaging (many fonts make it hard to read and not enjoyable), not error tolerant (User cannot see what pages have they been to) and hard to learn (many things are in unexpected places, for example, copyright in the middle of a page). A contradiction is Figure 2. It avoids all of the previous example mistakes.

 

Figure 1: Bad usability (Ugly Tub, 2012)

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Figure 2: Good usability (Amazon, 2016)

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Booth (2012) defines accessibility as giving the full functionality to the biggest amount of people possible. Everyone should be allowed to use websites to their fullest. According to W3C (2016), an accessible website is designed to work for everybody regardless of:
Hardware
Software
Language
Culture
Location
Physical disability
Mental disability
Every possible scenario must be considered when designing a webpage as, for example, not everyone can easily use English. Accessibility’s importance comes from various reasons as it is not only profitable for a company (W3C, 2012) but also required by law in most countries (in the UK by Equality Act 2010). The cost involved in creating an accessible website returns to a company very quickly.

An accessible website is shown in Figure 3, it has easy to use accessibility menu while a bad example is Figure 4 as it is hard to read and images are unreadable by screen readers(lack of the “alt” text).

 

Figure 3: Accessibility menu (BBC, 2014)

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Figure 4: Bad accessibility (Yvette’s Bridal Forum, 2010)

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Dix et al. (2005) indicate that functional program should conform to standard functions. It means that a program, or a website, needs to do what a user intends it to do. Thorlacius (2007) argues that functional website allows the user to quickly access desired information. The most important part of a website that can allow it is navigation. This two works paraphrased together clearly show that navigation is the biggest part of a website functionality. Research conducted by Palmer (2002) also show that navigation is a big part of website success.

An example of a very bad navigation is Figure 5 as it is clunky, hard to understand and coded into <div> instead of <nav>. The website with a very good navigation is Figure 6, which uses a very simple dropdown menu that shows users links to what they are looking for.

 

Figure 5: Bad functionality (James Bond Museum, 2016)

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Figure 6: Good functionality (Tesco, 2016)

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List of references

Amazon (2016) Homepage (online).

Available from <https://www.amazon.com>

(Accessed 11th October 2016)

 

BBC (2014) My Web My Way (online)

Available from <http://www.bbc.co.uk/accessibility/>

(Accessed 11th October 2016)

 

Booth, C.  (2012) Why Accessibility?, Library Technology Reports , 48 (2), pp. 5-6.

 

Dix, A., Finlay, J., Abowd G.D., and Beale R. (2004) Human-Computer Interaction (3rd ed.), Prentice Hall

 

Gould, J.D. and Lewis, C. (1985) Designing for usability: key principles and what designers think, Communications of the ACM, 28 (3), pp. 300-311.

 

Great Britain (2010) Equality Act 2010 : Chapter 15, London, The Stationery Office.

 

James Bond Museum (2016) JAMES BOND 007 MUSEUM NYBRO SWEDEN (online).

Available from <http://www.007museum.com/>

(Accessed 11th October 2016)

 

Palmer, J.W. (2002) Web Site Usability, Design, and Performance Metrics, Information Systems Research, 13 (2), pp. 151-167

 

Quesenbery, W. (2003) Dimensions of Usability: Defining the Conversation, Driving the Process.

In: Proceedings of the UPA 2003 conference, 23th-27th June, Scottsdale, Arizona.

 

Quesenbery, W. (2011) Using the 5Es to understand users (online).

Available from <http://www.wqusability.com/articles/getting-started.html>

(Accessed  10th October 2016).

 

Tesco (2016) Homepage (online).

Available from <http://www.tesco.com/homepages/default/variants/a/>

(Accessed 11th October 2016)

 

Thorlacius, L. (2007) The Role of Aesthetics in Web Design, Nordicom Review, 28 (1), pp. 63-76

 

Ugly Tub (2012) Homepage (online).

Available from <http://www.uglytub.com>

(Accessed 11th October 2016)

 

W3C (2012) Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case for Your Organization (online). Available from <https://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/Overview>

(Accessed 10th October 2016).

 

W3C(2016) Accessibility (online).

Available from <https://www.w3.org/standards/webdesign/accessibility>

(Accessed 10th October 2016).

 

Yvette’s Bridal Forum (2010) Yvette’s (online)

Available from <https://yvettesbridalformal.p1r8.net/>

(Accessed 11th October 2016)

 

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