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Usability Foundations Course

via Treehouse


The concept of usability is directly tied to the success of websites and apps. How easy are they to use? We'll learn in this course how to ensure users can accomplish their goals on websites and apps, as well as laptops and mobile devices. We'll also consider the user centered approach to design, highlight common usability issues on sites and apps, and offer tips on how to ensure your designs stay as usable as possible.

What you'll learn

  • Defining usability
  • Common places to usability issues
  • Improving usability of websites and apps
  • Common ways to improve usability


What is Usability?

People like to use things that are easy to understand, work as expected, and deliver value. In this stage, we'll define how usability compares to UX and UI, and how we can learn from design examples online and offline.

Chevron 7 steps
  • Introduction


  • Defining Usability


  • Usability vs. UX vs. UI


  • Usability in the Real World


  • The Badge Reader

    1 question

  • The Badge Reader: Conclusion


  • What is Usability?

    6 questions

Website Usability

In this stage, we'll explore how usability affects the online experience, beginning with the first few seconds of the user's visit. We'll also look at common issues that affect websites, such as navigation, color, text, and more.

Chevron 9 steps
  • The History of Usability


  • The First Impression


  • Architecture and Menus


  • Color and Images


  • Text Content


  • Navigation and Interactivity


  • Video Quiz: The Treehouse Store

    1 question

  • Video Quiz: The Treehouse Store - Conclusion


  • Website Usability

    9 questions

Mobile Usability

More users than ever are using mobile devices to get online. Therefore, it's important to note the issues that can affect mobile usability, such as the differences in devices and screen sizes, as well as touch, gestures, and location-based information.

Chevron 6 steps
  • Devices and Screen Size


  • Touch and Gestures


  • Location and Time


  • Video Quiz: Finding Smells Like Bakin'

    1 question

  • Video Quiz: Finding Smells Like Bakin' - Conclusion


  • Mobile Usability

    5 questions

  • Extra Credit

    International Concerns

    Not everyone in the world has the same access to the Internet, nor the same technology. Analytics can also yield insight into where your audience comes from. Consider your target market and how you might be able to adjust your website to their needs.

Improving Usability

To ensure your designs are as usable as possible, be proactive and understand your users' needs. From prioritizing content to user analytics and testing, there are a number of strategies to consider to make your designs more usable and increase user satisfaction.

Chevron 7 steps
  • Content Prioritization


  • Data and Analytics


  • Usability Testing


  • Design Frameworks


  • Usability Scenarios Across the Web

    5 questions

  • Industry Changes


  • Improving Usability

    5 questions

  • Extra Credit

    Take 5 Minutes

    If you want to quickly improve the usability of one of your own websites - or any other - sit down with a friend or colleague and ask them to complete an important task on the site in question. Even if they are successful, you can still learn much from watching them navigate your site. Every chance to see your site through someone else's eyes is a valuable one!

    Usability Resources

    Interested in learning more about usability? Steve Krug is the author of Don't Make Me Think, one of the most influential books on usability and testing. His website provides a number of downloadable resources, including helpful checklists and templates.

    Follow Steve Krug on Twitter along with excellent UX resources like @uxmag and @uxbooth for more insight.

Taught by

Dan Gorgone


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