world usability day is tomorrow

If you’re into the whole usability idea — and more and more our interfaces to technology are all we have when interacting wiht the goods, services and government in our lives — then you might like to know that World Usability Day is tomorrow. I’ll noodle around a bit looking at my own websites and I suggest that you and your libraries do the same.

Technology should enhance our lives, not add to our stress or cause danger through poor design or poor quality. It is our duty to ensure that this technology is effective, efficient, satisfying and reliable, and that it is usable by all people. This is particularly important for people with disabilities, because technology can enhance their lives, letting them fully participate in work, social and civic experiences. Human error is a misnomer. Technology should be developed knowing that human beings have certain limitations. Human error will occur if technology is not both easy-to-use and easy-to-understand. We need to reduce human error that results from bad design.

3 Responses to “world usability day is tomorrow”

  1. Casey Bisson Says:

    But this year’s theme is transportation, focusing on the environmental aspects. I can see a connection between that and usability, I guess, but the the WUD website doesn’t seem to complete the circle.

  2. Auntie Nanuuq Says:

    The statement on what Technology should be is great!

    “Technology should enhance our lives, not add to our stress or cause danger through poor design or poor quality. It is our duty to ensure that this technology is effective, efficient, satisfying and reliable, and that it is usable by all people.”

    It is a shame that SirsiDynix only provides enhancement for the public who use our online catalogs, but stress through poor design and difficulty of use for the library staff.

    One would hope, when spending boodles of cash on a new automated library system & public catalog, that ease of use would be considered for both sets of users! It is embarrassing that after 5 months of having SirsiDynix in our library, that I am still unable to successfully place a hold on materials for a customer using the staff’s program on the first try!

    “Human error will occur if technology is not both easy-to-use and easy-to-understand. We need to reduce human error that results from bad design.”

    Thank-you for the article.

  3. don warner saklad Says:

    Our city public library’s website and library buildings fail when it comes to usability. Navigating Boston Public Library buildings’ floor, departments, collections, curatorial experts sets up BPLusers for repetitive back and forth catch 22s. Add to that the lack in a good customers services approach, routine supervision and routine training. Our BPL website has features that are not universal, not compatible will all operating systems. When feedback is offered it’s received dismissively, deflected by BPLers, wrongfully perceived as adversarial. Communications failures results in usability failures.