Eric Reiss talks usability, toy horses, and overflowing trash cans on The Storyboard

DevToolsGuy / Friday, November 18, 2016

 We’re proud to announce a new podcast — The Storyboard: Conversations about Usability and UX. We’ll be talking with experts and practitioners about prototyping, testing, and usability challenges and best practices. We think you’re going to find it really useful.

In this first episode of The Storyboard (iTunes | RSS | Direct Download | Google Play | Stitcher | Soundcloud), Elden Nelson of Infragistics talks with Eric Reiss, CEO of the FatDUX Group, a user experience design agency based in Copenhagen, Denmark. As the author of Usable Usability, he is a passionate and engaging advocate for the importance of usability in design — not just for software and online services but in every aspect of daily life. In this episode, the first of two, Eric talks about the first half of Usable Usability, focusing on the five key elements of ease of use: functionality, responsiveness, ergonomics, convenience, and being foolproof.

As Eric explains it, ease of use is important not simply on screens but in the physical world around us. An overflowing public trash can is a usability problem, whether of physical design (too small for its environment) or service design (too infrequently emptied), and it makes a difference to the livability of its city. The same experiences and challenges that have been informing industrial design for decades are important to usability design in software and other products as well, he argues. “I think we have a tendency to forget the empirical experience of previous generations,” Eric says; his book and his work aim to build on those lessons learned decades ago and incorporate the new insights that come from today’s digital world.

Tune in to this episode to learn about Eric’s background, including what he learned about user experience as a theater director and an advertising copywriter. You’ll also hear about how a rocking horse taught him the importance of user-centered design when he was just three years old.

In the next installment, Eric will talk about the second half of Usable Usability, exploring the five principles for elegance and clarity in usability design and why they’re so important.