In the UX-design, one of the main goals is the high usefulness of the system. Because the aim is for people to use the system. For instance, the goal of a website is to have people visit the site over and over again. Or if it’s something for sale we want people to buy it. After that, they’ll recommend it to others. But “usefulness” reveals two quality parameters in the design.
Usefulness = Utility + Usability
Utility is the question of what does the system does. Here are three essential and important questions:
- Does the system (website, application, etc.) have the features?
- Does the system solve a real user need?
- Does the system do something that people want to do?
Although we have the most wonderful and beautiful system UI-design, this may not be enough and it may not answer YES to the three questions above. Why would people use it if it doesn’t do what they want? Both the features must be correct and Utility must be high. However, we should say that besides these, usability has also to be high.
Usability gives an answer to these questions:
- Can people learn the user interface?
- Can people figure out or operate it adequately?
If usability is not high, then the features may not be available. Because unless you can understand the system and learn how the features may be used, it is not actually there. Because you’re not able to use it. That’s why we need usability. The system features must be clearly visible and shining. “easy to learn, easy to use”
If we want to be successful in the whole product, we have to be 100% successful in these two criteria. We must do both at the same time. Fortunately, we have user research methods where we can examine both things. And if you succeed both and reach high utility and high usability, you will have high usefulness for your design. The goal is for people to use it, and you did it! You will have success.
1. https://www.nngroup.com/ (Jakob Nielsen)