Usefulness

Your constantly-updated definition of Usefulness and collection of topical content and literature
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What is Usefulness?

Usefulness describes anything that helps you get closer to or meet your goals. Usefulness is one of the many dimensions that influences and contributes to a product’s usability. If something is useful, it can be used to achieve a particular objective. Designers will, generally, aim to deliver useful products. Usable, on the other hand, refers to the ease of use for a particular product and the more usable a product is the more likely it is that it will be used. Used, however, is the most important of these three concepts. If a design is not used, it doesn't matter how useful and usable it is. Designers are likely to want to examine how to transition from useful and usable in order for their work to succeed.

Many designers maintain that the most important dimension of usability is usefulness. Interestingly enough, usefulness depends upon subjective taste and personal goals. Something that may be "useful" to you may not be perceived as such by somebody else. Therefore, the specific criteria that determine an object’s usefulness remain elusive and relative.

Literature on Usefulness

Here’s the entire ֱ literature on Usefulness by the Interaction Design Foundation, collated in one place:

Learn more about Usefulness

Take a deep dive into Usefulness with our course User Experience: The Beginner’s Guide .

User experience, or ֱ, has been a buzzword since about 2005, and according to tech research firm Gartner, the focus on digital experience is no longer limited to digital-born companies anymore. Chances are, you’ve heard of the term, or even have it on your portfolio. But, like most of us, there’s also a good chance that you sometimes feel unsure of what the term “user experience” actually covers.

[User experience] is used by people to say, Im a user experience designer, I design websites, or I design apps. [] and they think the experience is that simple device, the website, or the app, or who knows what. No! Its everythingits the way you experience the world, its the way you experience your life, its the way you experience the service. Or, yeah, an app or a computer system. But its a system thats everything.

Don Norman, pioneer and inventor of the term user experience”, in an interview with NNGroup

As indicated by Don Norman, User Experience is an umbrella term that covers a number of different areas. When you work with user experience, it’s crucial to have a good understanding of what those areas are so that you know what tools are available to you.

Throughout this course, you will gain a thorough understanding of the various design principles that come together to create a user’s experience when using a product or service. As you proceed, you’ll learn the value user experience design brings to a project, and what areas you must consider when you want to design great user experiences. Because user experience is an evolving term, we can’t give you a definition of ‘user experience’ to end all discussions, but we will provide you with a solid understanding of the different aspects of user experience, so it becomes clear in your mind what is involved in creating great ֱ designs.

If you are new to the Interaction Design Foundation, this course is a great place to start because it brings together materials from many of our other courses. This provides you with both an excellent introduction to user experience and with a preview of the courses we have to offer to help you develop your future career. After each lesson, we will introduce you to the courses you can take if a specific topic has caught your attention. That way, you’ll find it easy to continue your learning journey.

All Literature

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