Compiled by David Dick
Did you ever wonder why some products are well designed and easy to use and others are not? The answer is simple—decision makers and budget holders make decisions with little thought of how they reduce usability.
Here then are the top ten decisions that reduce usability:
- Usability being seen as something to be done at the end of system design when the screens need to be designed.
- Usability features are seen as nice-to-have rather than essential and therefore not included in the design.
- System analysts/designers providing user solutions without consulting users.
- Implementers basing their code on the prototype screen shots in the user interface specification rather than taking the time to actually read the detailed written specs, and therefore assuming much of the behavior.
- Implementers changing the user interface without consulting usability specialists in order to bug fix quicker.
- Usability specialists being bypassed for some development because it is assumed that it would take too long to involve them and a quick solution is required.
- Programmers and system developers implement functions blindly to meet project deadlines
- Technology and vendor platform drives the interaction with no thought for customers
- Additional functions are added without first enhancing the simple critical tasks first
- Interface problems are covered up by a user manual/online help.
Special thanks to Franck Ferront, Michael Granat, Howard Kiewe, Lyman Casey, Daniel Szuc, Sherri B, Chauncey Wilson and Helen Johnstone whose comments were considered for this list.