5 Main Mistakes in Product Usability

Nowadays usability is an important issue. Software development companies spend a lot of time on improving their product to make it more usable.

In case they can’t do it themselves, they consult a good  software testing company, which conducts usability testing of different types (mobile testing, web site testing etc.).

5 Common Mistakes Connected to Usability Testing:

  1. Software development that concentrates on either machine or system;
  2. The change of target audience and product adaptation to it;
  3. Difficulties with product usability design;
  4. Ill-coordinated team work;
  5. Discrepancy of design and its implementation.

 Software Development That Concentrates on Either Machine or System

During the product development the focus is usually placed on either machine or system, not on the end-user.

 Actually three main components should be taken into consideration:

  • Person;
  • Context;
  • Activity.

 While developing the product, designers should stay focused on these issues. They may influence the final result of your work. Out of the three, the greatest emphasis was usually placed on the activity part. However, the three of them work better when implemented simultaneously.


 The Change of Target Audience and Product Adaptation to It

Together with the rapid development of technology, the audience of its users has also changed drastically. Not all of the software companies catch up with the latest tendencies.

At the beginning of computer technologies development, the software was usually created for personal usage, i.e. the developers of certain programs were at the same time their users.

Of course, this is not the situation we are having now. Today the user audience has expanded and now includes all the user categories, from the freshman to computerized utilities to the professional users of various software systems.

 Difficulties with Product Usability Design

Designing a usable product is harder than it may seem.

Although much is being spoken about what usability is, however this concept still remains rather vague, as everyone seems to know something about it but turns out to know absolutely nothing.

Nowadays the user-centered design (UCD) approach is considered to be the most effective one in questions of usability. However, one should learn it in order to implement it successfully.

 Ill-Coordinated Team Work

Nowadays the developers’ team consists of a great number of specialists in a number of spheres. Due to their great number, their integration usually fails due to lack of interaction.

In order to work more productively, usually several components of large software are developed separately and there is a great possibility of the product’s ill work afterwards.

If this problem was not traced before the product release and the end user faced it, he/she will not use your product even if it has a number of other benefits.

Some companies also make mistakes of testing product components for usability separately. Only due to the components’ coherent work it is able to create a truly usable product.

 Discrepancy of Design and Its Implementation

It is very important to separate the design of the product and the implementation of this design as they require different knowledge and skills. Nowadays people tend to emphasize the design more, but most software developers have better skills for its technical implementation.

The difference between these two notions is as follows: design is the way the product communicates and the implementation is the way it works.

The five issues stated above are just the surface of a large issue related to usability and ways of obtaining it. We can summarize all the stated facts by saying that the main emphasis was by mistake placed on the product itself, while it was very important to concentrate on the goals it should achieve.