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What are usability goals in interactive design?

ACHONWA ALVAN

Usability goals are concerned with how useful and easy it is to use a product or system. When we design a product, we consider usability goals in order to ensure that the product delivers the expected solution to the identified problem.

There are 6 main usability goals that establish the standard:

The 6 usability goals

1. Easy to learn

This goal refers to how easy a system is to learn. When a product is designed, it must be evaluated to see if anyone can easily learn how to use the new product.

People encounter different products every day, and how easily one can learn to use a product is an indication of its usability.

2. Safe to use

Digital products must be designed to ensure user safety and security. No harm should come to the user from using the product.

User identity and data should be safeguarded to protect them from being misused. Moreover, the safety of a product can also involve ensuring recovery from failure or errors.

3. Effective to use

The effectiveness goal refers to how good a system is at doing what it is supposed to do. This particular goal evaluates the solution that a product provides, as compared to the identified problem. The effectiveness goal ensures that the product solves the problem for which it was designed.

4. Efficient to use

The efficiency goal refers to the way a system supports users in carrying out tasks. This goal helps to ensure the product performs the task in a way that minimizes time and other essential resources that may be required.

For example, an application designed for transactions must not experience a lot of downtime while processing transactions.

5. Good utility

This goal refers to the extent to which the system provides the correct functionality so that users can do what they need or want to do.

The user should never run into any situation where there is no appropriate option to carry out the desired action. An example would be to include back and next options to enable a user to navigate to the previous action.

6. Memorable

How easy a system is to remember to use is a key goal in usability. This goal ensures a system can be used over and over again with ease once a user has learned to use it, and does not require the user to relearn how to use the product each time.

This goal calls for simplicity in design to allow users to build effective recall for the product.

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