Most usability professionals know when something is usable, they just don't know how to systematically do it (04 Nov 2004)
The few definitions that Iíve examined above suggest that as a profession, we are taught to say what usability is, but not definitively how do you do it. Itís a bit like the layperson art critic who says ĎI donít know much about art, but I know what I likeí. There are many usability hymn books and guidelines for all the major operating systems (Mac OS, Mac OS X, Windows, Linux [Gnome, KDE and combined Gnome and KDE], etc.), as well as general usablity (usability.gov, Yale Styleguide)and accessibility guidelines that we recite, but often these are about pixel placement of widgets on the UI and how to provide feedback in the navigation. Don't get me wrong - these are all very helpful, but none of them actually tell us exactly what makes something usable.
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