Although often used interchangeably, usability and user experience are two different, but closely related, aspects of web design. For a website to fulfill both aspects successfully, it’s important that you understand the relationship and differences between these aspects.
Keep reading below to learn more about usability and user experience from our experts so you can upgrade your design appreciation for a more effective website and increased usership.
About Usability and User Experience
First, let’s begin with a breakdown of what both of these terms mean:
What is Usability?
Usability mainly refers to the functional aspects of a product, in this case a website, and how effective, easy to use, easy to learn, efficient, error free, and satisfying to users it is. That is, usability describes how easy it is to use various user interfaces.
The 4 Elements of Usability
Usability can be broken down into the following four elements:
- Functionality: can this product work normally?
- Learnability: can this product be used without extra learning?
Flexibility: can this product do something more expect accomplishing the main task?
Industry design: is this product aesthetically pleasing or attractive enough?
Common Usability Issues to Consider for User-Centered Design
When designing for usability, it’s important to take these factors into consideration:
- The overall effectiveness and efficiency of the site
- Degree of user comfort and satisfaction
- The product design’s ease-of-use
What is User Experience?
User experience refers to a person’s (the user’s) subjective feelings and attitudes about using a product. This goes beyond simply what users say they want; user experience encompasses everything that has to do with a user’s interaction with something, including. This includes the products functional scope, product brand, psychological expectation, and actual emotional feeling.
The 4 Elements of User Experience
User experience can be broken down into the following four elements:
- Usability: is it easy to complete tasks?
- Adaptability: will people start using the product?
- Desirability: is the experience fun and engaging?
- Value: does a product provide value to the users?
Important User Experience Aspects to Follow for User-Centered Design
When designing for user experience, it’s important to fulfill these aspects of your design goal:
- Design and evaluate for what the users do in the process of starting and ending interactivity with the product
- Maximize the realization of the stimulus, recognition and arouse the emotional resonance.
The Relationship Between Usability and User Experience
Now that you have an understanding of what usability and user experience each refer to, let’s dive deeper into the relationship between these two aspects, starting with a distinction of their differences.
How do Usability and User Experience Differ?
The difference between usability and user experiences comes down to a distinction between the goals of each concept: for usability, the goal is to ensure that a website is completely easy to user, whereas the goal of user experience is to ensure that a user is as happy as possible while using a website.
That is, usability asks, “will the user be able to accomplish their goals?” while user experience asks, “was the user satisfied with their overall experience?”
What is the Relationship Between Usability and User Experience?
As seen in the list of the 4 user experience elements, usability is an aspect of user experience. That is, usability is a specific function of the broader design goal of user experience.
As a narrower aspect of user experience, usability focuses on achieving various goals while the website is being used. User experience goes beyond this and is created through the work of all the elements that the users encounter while on a website. In other words, usability concerns itself only with the use of the website while user experience includes the effects of all aspects – including design, marketings, ergonomics, etc. – that go into a typical user experience.