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I think UX has killed the term 'usability.' Or at best left it comatose. But what do you think?
My latest post on Useful Usability provides the evidence that I believe clearly demonstrates that 'usability' is dead, or at least non-responsive.
Perhaps those are fighting words around here? Or perhaps, like me, you've seen fewer and fewer 'usability' discussions in your firms and/or hallway conversations you have out there, and more and more 'UX' conversations. The trouble is (in my opinion) that UX does a very bad job of replacing usability, because no two people seem to agree on exactly what UX is, or more importantly, what the role of a UX practitioner should be.
Here's how I started my post:
Usability is dead (or at best on life-support and not conscious), and I’m sorry to be the one that has to tell you this, but it’s been mortally wounded by UX (aka User Experience). How do I know? Well, you see, I’m a big fan of usability. Consider my blog, Useful Usability, which has the name of usability right in it. I eat, think and sleep usability, which is why I’m so sad that UX has killed it.
Yes, I’m a big fan of usability, but I can assure you it has been killed (or at best is now on life support and comatose). And I have proof, which I’ll sadly but scientifically share with you in a moment. But for those of you who can’t wait and want to know the executive summary, here it is:
“Usability as a term is pretty much dead and has been replaced (not very well) by UX, meaning user experience.”
Now like I said, I’m sorry to be the bearer of this bad news, but if you are in the usability profession I suspect you already have an inkling of this fact.
The fact is usability will most likely be has been consumed and overwhelmed by the new catch-phrase and relatively new role of UX. The sad part however is that where most practitioners or usability-aware people knew what usability was (how easy things are to use, measured and tested via a scientific method), no two people exactly agree on what UX is.
For all the details and the evidence please continue reading UX Killed Usability and then, let us know what YOU think.