The usability and user experience of “real life”


I recently had a conversation with a co-worker about usability. We were talking about usability on the web  and then we drifted to the usability designed into his Prius at different levels.  I noticed the glow of excitement on my colleague – as he mentioned…”we need to apply usability across everything!”.

This is a significant point of awareness – the moment we connect our skills from one branch of knowledge and expertise and we realize that we can also borrow it to apply it to the larger picture. I’m glad to see others catching on to this. I guess for some of us this awareness begins with our concern with the user experience in interactive environments.

Usability-related knowledge needs to branch out of the web and into our city streets, into our bricks and mortar facilities, into our homes, and into all of our environments. Cities and all their components need to be usability tested and need to be designed for optimal user experience within context.

City and governmental services need to be evaluated by user experience and interaction design practices. (there is a lot of room for improvement!!)

Of course, a more ideal version of this would be to also merge usability consciousness with sustainability consciousness for a more holistic perspective. In this case the Prius and other well-designed cars come into mind as leading products and topics of conversation.

Recommended books:

The Psychology of Everyday Things >>

Flicker: (collection of “this is broken” photos) >>

This is Broken: (A collection of usability issues) >>

Other blogs:

Visit my user experience blog (User Experience + Innovation)
Daniel Montano
Keyword: Daniel Montano, Dan Montano, user experience design, information architect


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