Why Usability Counts

The Internet for me was a mistake.

I was a print designer working at a magazine company, and a friend of mine said, “Hey, we’re doing this Internet company, you want to join?”

I had to ask, “What’s the Internet?”

A BBS I was on years before that was on Usenet, but for this, I literally had to buy a computer to use AOL and the World Wide Web. It looked interesting, and I figured that I’d be doing it for a couple of years.

That was twelve years ago.

I fell into this because I did really clean, organized design, and had a knack for enforcing a process in using the sites. I understood the basic needs of a user and how sites should do work as expected.

I understand simplicity.

Today, I work as a user experience specialist — an Information Architect guiding clients on anything from Windows applications to large scale websites. I enjoy my work, and the rewards include better return on investments that exceed the amount they pay for our consulting.

User experience is the lost art that most product management types miss in technology, software developers ignore, but something that matters most because it affects who matters most — the end user.

I spend time showing clients how a few changes to their processes can save them or generate them money. It could be as simple as changing a URL, or complex is evaluating a multi-step process. Whatever the process is, at the end of the day we provide metrics that the clients can measure against.

Usability counts more than you even know.