Usability is often one of those things that gets overlooked. Designers and developers from every industry assume that because they know how to do their job, design or develop, that their product or service will inherently be usable for the masses.
Just think of your own experiences. How many times have you used a remote control,appliance, website, or mobile app and been frustrated by the experience? Ambiguous buttons, strange terminology, or an awkward interface can turn a novel idea into a missed opportunity. And all because of a failure to do proper usability testing.
One of my own recent examples is my oven:
I originally loved the blue lighted interface. It was much better than that bright greenish-yellow lights most used.. this was electric blue… how modern. But my love of this color soon became a thing of past. You see, if you stand near the stove, its very easy to read. But if you stand farther away… say 5 feet of more…. the numbers become illegible. I would find myself straining to read the numbers, cursing an eye doctor vision in the near future. But then I would glance up at my microwave, directly above it, and clearly read the much smaller yellow-green
Many visitors have made comments about this usability problem, followed by how they probably should make that eye doctor appointment they have been putting off. But this
problem could have easily been avoided by a simple usability test.
This same concept applies to all media tools also. With so many competitors vying for every buyer’s last cent, you can’t afford to lose to your competition because your font was too small or your image overload was too distracting for users to get to the meat of your site.