User Experience vs. Usability

by Jordan Watson

UX is a combination of usability, functionality, and the user interface. Each are possible on its own, but you need all three to have a positive UX.

  • Functionality – doesn’t consider design principles but as long as the user can accomplish tasks and goals
  • Usability – the ease of use; can you use it easily?
  • Sometimes usability is sacrificed to provide a more interesting, memorable user experience.


The 5 E’s of Usability

  • Effective – completeness and accuracy in which users can achieve specific goals. “I want to do X – can I do X?”
  • Efficient – the speed (with accuracy) in which users can achieve tasks in which they use the product for
  • Engaging – pleasant and satisfying to use; the visual design is the most obvious element of this characteristic. just don’t make the customer hate using the system for some products.
  • Error Tolerant – design has to prevent user from making errors and help them recover after making errors. give the user a get-out clause when they get into trouble
  • Easy to learn – allow users to build on their knowledge without deliberate effort


Know your user’s world and understand their pain. Visit your users in the environment they use the product.

What helps make a good user experience:

  • Color
  • Visual feedback
  • show-off effects – anything that grabs user’s attention
  • emotional effect
  • company brnaidng

“People will buy the image and fall in love with the detail.” The way it is presented to them is what makes them want it. Then, they will get used to it.


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