Traditional Usability is Outdated (and Lame)

By the time you launch, your experience should be FAR beyond “usable”. The word “usability” itself is losing importance. It requires too little from us. Let’s start with design patterns to cover the basics, and focus most of the time on the interactions that will make experiences feel more relevant, delightful  and memorable.

If your process (or resident design diva) is waiting until just before, during or after launch – as most traditional usability testing does – you’ve missed the delight boat. Usable, one step above functional, does not satisfy the majority of users today. GenX and younger are no longer dazzled by something working – they aspire to be better.

The aspiration impulse is strong, embedded in our human nature and ultimately driven by the eternal quest for social status. And, status is becoming less about what I have and more about who I am. This shift, amplified by social medial, has turned personal achievement into a shareable currency.

That means there is a status race to prove that I am healthier, smarter, more creative, more connected and more entrepreneurial than the rest. If you want your experience to land, usable isn’t even table-stakes anymore. It’s an anchor around the legs of any experience intended to deliver.