Usability has become a business imperative: The more difficult a product or service is to use, the less likely a customer will buy it (or will buy it a second time). Now you can learn the fundamentals of usability design with a free copy of Usable Usability: Simple Steps for Making Stuff Better, a concise guide to usability design by Eric Reiss, CEO of FatDUX Group.
In Usable Usability, Eric divides usability design into two main categories: physical properties, which encompass functionality, responsiveness, ergonomics, convenience and foolproofing; and elegance and clarity, which consist of visibility, understandability, logic, consistency and predictability. Throughout the book, Eric explores how to improve usability in the design of physical objects, the layout and structure of websites and apps, and the processes and rules of services. How can your web forms be more responsive? How color help you improve the logic and predictability of your processes? How can user testing show you the ways your system can break down?
In addition to explaining key concepts in easy-to-understand terms, the book illustrates usability with photos of good and bad examples of products and services, brief anecdotes about usability experiences, and “tales from the trenches” of usability gone awry. Each chapter includes a checklist of questions to consider, resources for additional detail, and key concepts readers can Google to learn more.
Usable Usability draws on material that Eric taught as professor of Usability and Design in the Master of Digital Marketing program at the Instituto de Empresa Business School in Madrid, Spain. He also shares examples from industrial design, business cases, world history, and personal experience, illustrating how vital usability is in every part of our daily lives. From a bedside alarm clock or light switch, to the safety systems on a commercial aircraft, to the ecommerce sites where we spend our time and money, usability makes a difference to comfort, safety, and the bottom line.
“Not only do product and service usability complement each other, but ultimately, a bad experience with one element within a brand affects our willingness to get cozy with other elements,” Eric says in the book. “To ignore usability is to lose money. It’s as simple as that.”
To get your free Usable Usability e-book, simply download a free trial of Indigo Studio, which lets you create interactive prototypes as quickly and easily as setting up wireframes. Indigo Studio includes reusable design libraries, with elements optimized for a wide range of devices. Indigodesigned.com lets you conduct virtual usability testing so you can reach more users in less time, capturing valuable feedback to create a better design. Find out more about Indigo Studio and download your free copy of Usable Usability today. And hear Eric discuss the book and his thoughts about usability in a two-part podcast on The Storyboard.