Usability Considerations: Users Needs and Wants

Before anything else Happy New Year to all of you!!! I had a great time during the holidays but it’s back to work for everyone.

We ended last year with a series of posts on usability and discussed the basics including the components and usability testing. Since usability is such a critical part of website design our discussion on the topic continues this year. It’s a new year but with old topic. Hopefully though the new posts will offer some fresh perspectives for you.

We have mentioned that the components of usability are learnability, efficiency [of use],memorability, [subjective] satisfaction, and [few and non-catastrophic] errors. These components both individually and as a whole all address various usability considerations. When analysing the usability of any website design the users are of course the primary consideration. However, what are the specific considerations surrounding website design?

Some of the primary considerations include:

The users needs/wants 
- What is it exactly that your users need from your website? Are they merely looking for general information or are they looking for products to buy or services to subscribe to? Are they looking for fun, information, or social interaction? Knowing what your users want and need is critical in determine the tone, look, feel, and features of your website. Of course, if your website is a commercial site then you probably know that your users are your customers and thus need a specific product/service. This time you should analyse their needs/wants further and determine which of your products/services they are most interested in to be able to maximise the layout of your website so as to highlight the popular products and also increase awareness for products that are really good but not getting much attention. Ultimately your efforts to determine the needs/wants of your users for usability purposes goes beyond that and will benefit you in your overall marketing campaign.

to be continued…

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