Happy World Usability Day!

How did you celebrate? There were lots of events happening all over, but I stuck to spreading awareness around my office to folks who aren’t very familiar with usability, with the following email:

Subject: Happy World Usability Day!

Hello my friends!

Now you know it’s World Usability Day, but there’s a more important question. How does one celebrate World Usability Day? Well, it depends on how much time you have.

If you have…

1 minute: Wish someone else Happy Usability Day!

2 minutes: Read just 200 words to review usability basics on Usability.gov. Usability isn’t just about Web sites!

5 minutes: Learn about “how we really use the Web” in a sample chapter from Don’t Make Me Think, a book by Steve Krug that’s both entertaining and enlightening.

10 minutes: Ask someone nearby to use or read something you’re working on—it could be a few paragraphs from a proposal, or your most recent expense report. Can they tell you what it’s about? Do they understand everything you want them to understand? What’s confusing? You might be surprised by what you find out, and with your new knowledge, you will more effectively achieve your goal.

1 hour: Browse to your heart’s content in Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox. He covers topics from testing methods to specific gadgets to how memory effects usability.

Thank you for appreciating the need to make the world a more usable place! Just think: if each of us took a little time to find out whether the products we made were usable, everyone would have just that much more time and energy to be productive and happy people.

A pleasant day to you all!


I’m not sure anyone took the ten minute challenge, but a few did read the 2 and 5 minute suggestions. Even if perhaps there’s a better way to encourage better user experience in our world, I’m pretty excited to have gotten a few people thinking about usability.


About Veronica Erb

Designs, researches, illustrates, and writes code. Plays ukulele. Dances Balboa. Grew up in a geodesic dome, and hasn't gotten over it.
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