Here are some interesting finds on UI/UX of the week!
Measuring Learnability. Great article hailing from the Nielsen Norman Group, focused on how to assess the impact of Learnability (and its importance) as one of the parameters that is measured when doing usability testing (the others being Satisfaction, Efficiency, Memorability and Errors). The article provides examples and compares the impact of learnability versus efficiency, and how these parameters influence the iterative process when designing features/products. It also provides good tips on how to run a learnability study. Worth a read. Highlight of the article includes:
“High learnability contributes to usability. It results in quick system onboarding which translates to low training costs. Additionally, good learnability can result in high satisfaction because users will feel confident in their abilities. If your system and corresponding tasks are complex and ones that users access frequently, your product may be a good case for a learnability study. Learnability studies are time and budget consuming, so don’t pitch them haphazardly to stakeholders. It wouldn’t make sense to measure learnability for tasks which users complete infrequently or one time (for example, signing up for a service or filing annual taxes) because users will most likely behave like new users each time they encounter the task. In these cases, a standard usability test would be better suited and more cost-effective than a learnability study.”
Understanding Emotional Intelligence. Pertinent article from the Fast Company, focused on the topic of Emotional Intelligence. The article provides usable tips on how to improve that measurable and quantifiable identifier, with topics such as improving self-awareness, paying attention to your peers and also being proactive about connecting with others. It’s a relevant article at a time when there’s a lot of discussions on topics of empathy and ego on the workforce. Highlight of the article includes:
“ Just like any skill, emotional intelligence is a skill set that can you can practice, develop, and get better at. It’s not all or nothing, and it’s certainly not set in stone. We all possess some level of EQ, and anyone can improve specific aspects of their emotional intelligence to enhance their overall EQ. Once you understand it as a set of skills that lends itself to measurable behaviors, you can take the necessary steps to improve your emotional intelligence — and leadership outcomes.”
Color and Accessibility. Very relevant article from UX Movement, focused on accessibility and color usage. The article provides a plethora of details and specific examples of how to understand and utilize color and cues in order to effectively create solutions that are accessible and compliant. The article includes discoverability on topics such as gray text and buttons, color cues, contrast ratios for color blind users, among other topics. Highlight of the article includes:
“The accessibility requirement states that “color should not be used as the only visual means to convey information, indicate an action, or distinguish an element.” However, this standard only applies to cases where different colors are assigned specific meanings to inform the user (source). In other words, if you’re using color differences to convey information you need an extra cue. But if you’re using lightness and darkness to convey information, you don’t need an extra cue as long as the contrast difference is high enough.”