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August 20, 2007


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Okay, I'm completely confused. I've been doing this UX thing for awhile now, and I've been through the terminology wars, and I still can't think of any reasonable definition of "usability" that does not include "how the OrangeX's levered cam action smoothly produces more power at the end of the stroke, when the user needs it most." If Buxton doesn't think that is usability, what does he think usability is?

I certainly don't think usability is the be all, end all of design. We can design a completely usable product that stinks, and we can design a great product that's not very usable. But those are the exceptions... "well designed" and "usable" are extremely correlated.

Now I have to decide whether I'm intrigued by this apparent contradiction (and get the book) or I'm repelled by it (and avoid the book). I haven't decided yet.

Thanks for the comment Terry. I agree with you about Buxton's overly narrow definition of usability. To him, usability falls completely within the shadow of design. I think he believes that if companies followed his methodology, they wouldn't need usability at all.

Like you, I also think there's overlap between design and usability, but some things are exclusive to each.

I found a lot of value in the book despite its usability disdain, so I still recommend it.

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