Usability refers to the measure of the level of the user experience when using any given product or an already made system (Nielsen 2000)-. The product or the system can be a web site, any given software application or even mobile technology based application.
According to Nielsen, usability therefore involves the following(Nielsen 1994):
i. How efficient to use a system or application.
ii. Quick and easy to learn;
iii. Allows rapid recovery from errors;
iv. Easy to remember;
From the above justification, web Usability can therefore be defined as to the desirability and the ability to design of websites that a user can easily interact with when using the internet services.(Nielsen 2000).
The web designers and the web developersthus, should be able to create webpages that provide grant users experienceenabling them to browse the internet provided internet connectivity.(Brinck, Gergle & Wood 2002).
Jakob Nielsen, the usability expert(Nielsen & Pernice 2010) terms web usability as a important strategy for web development
Importance of web usability to web users
The users of the web enjoy the following advantages(Tarabochia 2008):
i. The ease in the web use improves their enjoyment status as most of them interact with the website more easily;
ii. The users meet their objectives and goalsachieve their goals conveniently.
iii. They gain confidence and trust in the product or web site thus improving their loyalty.
Importance of web usability to web providers
The providers of the web enjoy the following advantages:
i. There is decline in the development time and costs (SMITH, M.J. et al. 2001.);
ii. There is a decline in support costs;
iii. There is a decline in the prone errors from the users side;
iv. There is a decline in training time and costs ((Schlatter& Levinson 2013));
v. Return on Investment.
Influence of web usability on web development
i. The web usability has improved the website design process since there is reduced development time (LIAO, H. et al. 2009).
ii. The web usability has led into improved customer loyalty because their internet needs are satisfied and therefore enabling the web providers to win more customers as opposed to their competitors (GRAHAM, I. 2003).
iii. The web usability results into earlier problem detection and this makes the web maintenance and debugging in case of any problem easier (SPOOL, J.M. 1999).
i. BADRE, A. 2002.Shaping Web Usability: Interaction Design in Context. Addison-Wesley Professional.
ii. BRINCK, T., D. GERGLE and S.D. WOOD 2002. Designing Web Sites that Work:
iii. GRAHAM, I. 2003. A pattern language for Web usability.Addison-Wesley.
iv. Usability for the Web. Morgan Kaufmann.
v. LIAO, H. et al. 2009. Content Preparation Guidelines for the Web and Information Appliances: Cross-Cultural Comparisons. CRC Press.
vi. NIELSEN, J. 2000. Designing web usability. New Riders.
vii. NIELSEN, J. 1994. Usability Engineering. Morgan Kaufmann.
viii. NIELSEN, J. and H. LORANGER 2006. Prioritizing Web usability. New Riders.
ix. NIELSEN, J. and K. PERNICE 2010. Eyetracking Web Usability. New Riders.
x. SCHLATTER, T. and D. LEVINSON 2013. Visual Usability: Principles and Practices for Designing Digital Applications. Newnes.
xi. SPOOL, J.M. 1999.Web Site Usability: A Designer’s Guide. Morgan Kaufmann.
xii. SMITH, M.J. et al. 2001. Usability Evaluation and Interface Design: Cognitive Engineering, Intelligent Agents, and Virtual Reality.CRC Press.
xiii. TARABOCHIA, D.S. 2008. The Development and Usability of an Informational Website for Family Caregivers. ProQuest.