Designing for web user experience (UX) has a lot more to it than just making a website operational. Usability is important because it enables users to quickly achieve whatever it is they need from the website. A well-designed site must provide a balance between direct usability and good user experience. The website must not just look good, it should also cater to the needs of its users.
For web design, UX is among the terms that many online users often mistake usability with. There is a big difference between the two. However, there is also a solid relationship between them that designers shouldn’t disregard. Understanding these distinctions and connections help in determining why usability matters for UX.
Usability is focused on the performance, effectiveness, and pleasure that online users experience when they attain their specific goals from a design. User experience is all about the facets of the user’s experience when interacting with a product, service, or design.
With web design, the goal of usability is to make it user-friendly. On the other hand, the goal of user experience is to make the site visitor pleased before, during, and after using the website.
This means usability is concerned with the convenience with which users can attain their goals while UX is more involved in the way users respond to their interaction with the site.
To underscore the distinction between usability and user interface, industry experts have categorized the two between science (usability) and art (UX). For a metaphorical example, think of Chicago as a website, usability as a freeway in the Windy City, and user experience as one of Chicago interstates.
The metaphor for usability focuses on determining something that is practical, basic and necessitates less mental energy to work with. A freeway is practical because it helps a commuter get from point A to point B faster with regular signage demanding less mental work.
With regards to functionality, a freeway is extremely usable. However, when evaluated in terms of Chicago UX, it is monotonous.
The metaphor for user experience is indicated as exceptionally emotional. The Chicago interstate is more crowded. However, due to its backdrop, and the possible interaction with the additional crowd, it reflects a more energized and animated user experience.
Usability provides a narrower approach than user experience because it only concentrates on goal attainment when using a website. On the other hand, UX is essentially the result of the demonstration, capability, overall performance, interactive perceptions, and assistive features of the website. This means that UX is made up of different aspects, such as human elements, style and design, ergonomics, availability, online marketing, AND usability.
At its core, usability matters for UX because it is part of the grand design. User experience is not – and should never be – limited to a lovely design with inviting graphics and compelling content. Without a proper usability element, UX will have less impact to its users. When infused properly, web user experience will effectively improve the relationship between the website and its visitor.