11. Usability

Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.

—Albert Einstein

Usability is concerned with how easy it is for the user to accomplish a desired task and the kind of user support the system provides. Over the years, a focus on usability has shown itself to be one of the cheapest and easiest ways to improve a system’s quality (or more precisely, the user’s perception of quality).

Usability comprises the following areas:

Learning system features. If the user is unfamiliar with a particular system or a particular aspect of it, what can the system do to make the task of learning easier? This might include providing help features.

Using a system efficiently. What can the system do to make the ...

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