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Defining and Measuring Usability and UX. The Big Difference Between Usability and UX

Everyone knows that user-friendly websites and apps are vital for the overall success of a business. We know that design quality indicates credibility and trust and that those things drive results.

We know this.

So how do you know that your site or app is easy to use? What steps do you take to know for sure that your design is driving those results?

This guide will define what usability and UX are (as these terms are often confused) and this guide will also show you how usability and UX can be measured.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Usability is Not UX

We hear the terms often: usability, UX but let’s admit it – although we know they are both important in the design world, we often confuse them.

Usability is about task-based interactions such as navigating a site, filling out a form, checking out at an online store, etc. It’s the ability to do something intuitively and easily.

UX is about how a person feels when they interact with your site or app. Are they encouraged to sign up to your newsletter? Are they moved by the design in the front page? Is the copy engaging or dull?

Let’s dive into some of the details.

What Exactly is Usability?

Designers, developers, and usability experts have racked their brains trying to define usability. The truth is, there is not a universal definition. There are many books and resources on the topic and not one of them is the same.

Jakob Nielsen describe usability with these five qualities or as he calls them, “Usability Goals.”

  1. Usefulness. Although it may seem obvious, you should always be curious and ask: Is this feature useful? Is it redundant? Will it help the user accomplish a task?
  2. Learnability. When a new user comes to your website or app, you want them to easily learn how to get around. What are you doing to make this happen?
  3. Memorability: When users return to the design after a period of not using it, will they remember it?
  4. Errors: What happens when uses make an error? How many errors do users make, and do they eventually find a solution?
  5. Satisfaction. How pleasant is it to use the design? Are users sharing the website? Have you delighted them or did the whole experience cause them frustration?

How Do You Measure Usability?

Source: Defining and Measuring Usability and UX. The Big Difference Between Usability and UX