Usability in Everyday Life

As an account manager working in digital media, I spend a lot of time thinking about usability at work.

I’m always checking out landing pages, contact forms or different design elements, and asking myself if they make websites more or less usable. But that’s mostly just during my nine to five.

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of my different day-to-day experiences through the lens of usability. An example.

I arrived at company X for a meeting and walked into the lobby. The front desk was unattended, but there was a sign-in sheet with columns for name, company, time in and time out.

I signed my name, wrote down my company name and then reached into my pocket to grab my phone. It was dead.

And I don’t wear a watch.

I looked around the room.

No clock.

Although most people carry a mobile device with them at all times, and some people wear watches, you shouldn’t ask someone to write down what time they checked in without providing a clock. A simple wall clock would have been so easy to install.

I want to give some credit to Justin Davis at Madera Labs, for hitting me over the head with the word “usability” so much in the last three years I’ve lived in Nashville via his many appearances at Podcamp, Barcamp, NSW, etc., as well as the great work he does over at Madera Labs.

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