Usability: Neccesary but not Sufficient

So does usability matter? (Via WebWord)

Commenter Albert D. Kallal makes a good point about Quicken being a useful product that broke new ground. Quicken did something useful: allowing regular people to do accounting without accounting arcana.

However, usability is not the same as effectiveness. A product that is easy to use but does nothing useful is not enough. Nor is usability (or effectiveness) alone enough to make a product successful. Other things must be there: the right price, support, marketing.

Usability types are prone to over-emphasizing the importance of usability: I am no exception. But good usability is hard to notice, and bad usability smacks you between the eyes, so it's not surprising that usability still has a ways to go. I stress usability because it still needs to be stressed: in an ideal world, it would always be an integral part of the process.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Friday, February 7, 2003 (Link)


Posted by Joshua Kaufman Friday, February 7, 2003 at 02:43 PM

I pity the fool who makes a product which does nothing useful.

Sorry. Friday.