Usability Schmoozability: Put People First

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Amazon takes usability seriously. So should you.

I got the idea for my WordCamp Seattle presentation topic from usability guru Jared Spool. His article, “How Changing a Button Increased a Site’s Annual Revenues by $300 Million” powerfully illustrates the business value of paying attention to usability.

Schmoozing is about giving people what they want so that you can get what you want. That’s website usability in a nutshell. Your business or agency goals matter, but you won’t achieve them if you don’t put your user’s needs first.

It’s a good thing to keep in mind whether you’re building a website, a business, or a marriage – they’re all about relationships. But on the world wide web, those relationships can be very short term. Don’t ask too much. Steve Krug’s clear definition of usability is in his book “Don’t Make Me Think”

Something is usable if a person:

  • can figure out how to use the thing
  • to accomplish some desired goal
  • without it being more trouble than it’s worth

Don’t make answering a common question, completing a form, or giving you money  “more trouble than it’s worth.” When you do, you:

  • Lose customers
  • Get phone calls
  • Make a bad impression

Conferences are all about schmoozing … I mean networking. I really enjoyed talking about usability at WordCamp Seattle.  I also learned a lot from the other speakers, and the many people I met in between.

You can view my “Usability Schmoozability” presentation on Slideshare.