“No-one should have to suffer through products and services that get in their way. People should not be made to feel stupid by technology.”
That’s the key thesis for 2015’s World Usability Day on its ten year anniversary.
Your job as a tech professional is to make things that work for the intended audience. The hardest thing to keep in mind as well-educated, savvy, creative tech pros is that we are not our own audience.
The audience may be fifth graders using an app with lots of help text that’s above their reading level. The audience may be 20-year-old entrepreneurs who need no-interference, private, instant communication who’re faced only with insecure tools from five years ago. The audience might be Baby Boomers more accustomed to reading the newspaper who suddenly have to traverse a website that communicates only using symbols. Regardless of whom we’re trying to reach, if we don’t find ways to keep them from feeling stupid, we will fail them.
How do we accomplish better usability?
Innovation! Not only this year’s theme, but a tenet to live by. Don’t just keep to traditional ways of disseminating information, study your audience, your users. How do they look for information? What’s their environment like? What do they need?
By answering these and other key questions, you and other tech pros can help imagine and create better, more efficient methods of getting that information to your audiences.
The World Usability Day website has a fantastic map marking where WUD events are taking place worldwide. Our own local chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association is hosting an event on World Usability day, featuring a number of User Experience (UX) professionals. The speakers will cover everything from tools to testing to cross-cultural challenges in UX development and design.
Are you hosting or attending a World Usability Day event? How do you help make your clients’ experience with tech easier?