Thursday 8 November 2012

Happy World Usability Day!

Today, November 8th, is World Usability Day, arranged annually since 2006. List of events here (although if you are interested in events near you, the map on the front page is much more usable), there’s even one here in Helsinki).

If you only know usability from real-world usability, or more likely the lack of it (good usability is unobtrusive), here are the standard definitions:
“[Usability refers to] the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.” - ISO 9241-11

“Human-centered design is characterised by: the active involvement of users and a clear understanding of user and task requirements; an appropriate allocation of function between users and technology; the iteration of design solutions; multi-disciplinary design.” - ISO 13407
For more information, see The User Experience Professionals’ Association website.

Of course I’ll also take the opportunity to mention my paper titled Software Usability and Legal Informatics (draft paper on SSRN) which I will be presenting later this month at the KnowRight conference. As far as I know, there has been very little earlier scholarship on the topic in legal informatics, but pointers are most welcome. I will be pursuing this line of research further in other articles at least over the next couple of years.

[Update: presentation now available here.]

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