Software Usability – Essay Example
SOFTWARE USABILITY al Affiliation SOFTWARE USABILTY The term software us ability in the simplest and most basic sense refers to the ease with which a user of a computer can use the software or the interface. In most cases and instances, the designers of the software or the program strive to ensure and gauge with utmost and accurate precision the ease with which a user would use the software. In principle, it seeks to establish whether or not a software is user friendly in its current disposition or not. During the finalization process of software manufacturing, the usability kit or tool box helps the manufacturer or owner to know whether or not the users would be comfortable with the software or not. This stage would also help the developer to make the necessary modifications and changes that may be necessary.
Conventionally, there are certain parameters that form the irreducible minimum during the testing process of a software usability. They include, the navigation with which a user could move, the flow (including online traffic), content, speed, the layout and a strict comparison of the software with others. The comparison could be done by relating other related software in the market which perform similar functions, previous software which were there in the past performing similar or related functions (The Independent, 2011). All these parameters sum up and form the bold body of efficiency in software usability.
On a personal scale and capacity, it is my respectful submission that the software usability ought to be pegged on certain criteria and principle which must be met. This is to say that all the users and the developers specifically must ask themselves the hard questions relating to the efficiency of the software and not just on semantics, or the cosmetic appeal of the software. This is not to say that the above outline measures and benchmarks of software usability are not good, rather there are other which must also be met as a matter of priority. Consequently, they include, the specific ease with which a customer can use the software. Secondly, is the notion of how easy it is for the final consumers to learn the software. The third point or benchmark which cannot escape attention when discussing the concept of software usability is the convenience of the software. Naturally, these are the features that the software must meet before it is considered to have passed and qualified in the testing of the software usability.
Conversely, as a way of expounding on the parameters which I have set as the basic irreducible while gauging the effectiveness of a software, learnability is critical. It refers to the concept and notion whereby the final consumer has some degree of ease while navigating the software for the first time. It goes without saying that once a customer uses a software for the first time, it would be easy to navigate through it in the subsequent times. In subsequent times, it would be critical for the user who would have attained the status of advancement would have the requisite speed to accomplish tasks (Krueger, 2011). This is the efficiency concept since it refers to how the experienced user would perform the tasks at a relatively high speed. In the same line of thought and respect, it would be critical that the user finds it easy to remember how to use the software even after a long period of not using the software. This phenomenon is called memorability component of software usability testing. Once a customer has learnt how to use a software it ought to be easier to proceed with ease subsequent times. However, if the user must start to learn about the product afresh, then it is a difficulty of sorts.
It is also important to note and mention that the final consumer learns from the errors he or she makes during the software usability process. Just as the old adage goes that to error is human, it ought to be easy for the consumer to bounce from the errors and recover from them and proceed in the right path. For instance, if it is very difficult for a user to correct the mistakes that he or she makes while using a software, then it could be a good pointer for the developer to rethink the interface of the software relative to efficiency. Satisfaction is another concept of the software usability that cannot escape attention while discussing this idea. Software are mostly developed and sold to the market for the consumption of the final consumers. However, if the consumers do not derive any substantial satisfaction from the software then it would beat the logic of efficiency of the software usability (Nielsen, 2011). Conclusively, it is important to note and mention that the whole concept of efficiency refers to the degree of how the consumer could navigate and maneuver the software, and at the tail end make profits. Just as the parameters have been outline and articulated above, the use ought to be in a position to user the software effectively.
The Independent. (2011). Website redesign: A design for strife. Retrieved
Krueger, M. (2011) Jakob Nielsen on usability for mobile sites and apps
Nielsen, J. (2011). Defer secondary content when writing for mobile users.