Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Usability is not customer experience Evan reviews Spolsky's UI book, quoting
Usability is not everything. If usability engineers designed a nightclub, it would be clean, quiet, brightly lit, with lots of places to sit down, plenty of bartenders, menus written in 18-point sans-serif, and easy-to-find bathrooms. But nobody would be there. They would all be down the street at Coyote Ugly pouring beer on each other.
No arguments there, but there's a difference between usability and customer experience (as Mark Hurst has been going on about for years): customer experience delivers what the customer wants, usability makes it easy to use. Customers don't want a clean, well-lit nightclub, they want dirty, dark bachanalia, so give it to them. Othertimes usability and customer experience are the same thing. But customer experience comes before usability.


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