An interesting question. I’m not really a huge fan of the ‘u’ word, but I am a big fan of trying to get people to not accept poor design (and poor design usually = poor usability).
There’s some cool stuff going on now for World Usability Day 2006 (14 November). In London today we’re particularly honoured to have Usability Man (pictured in action above) helping us out with our mission to identify good and bad usability throughout London. Read more about him on the MakingLifeEasy website, and check out the Flickr Group where he’ll be sending photos live from the streets from about 3pm local time.
On a slightly less frenzied note, you can also participate in the Worlds Largest Cardsort. It’s online now so go, signup and try a sort.
Cardsorting is a tool that lots of Information Architects like to use to help them devise effective and usable website structures and terminology, but you don’t need to be an Information Architect to contribute. It’s dead easy and quite an interesting process.
There are loads of other activities happening all over the world. Even if you can’t participate, take a bit of time today to think about how good design DOES make your life easier through good usability, and how bad or thoughtless design makes your life unnecessarily difficult or even dangerous.
Usability. It might be a notoriously geeky thing to be interested in. But if you’re interested in usability, you’re interested in making life better for everyone. And that’s pretty special.
Happy World Usability Day!
This looks cool and potentially useful… instant messaging inside a visual workspace. Use it as a collaboration environment, a meeting room, a personal web-based whiteboard, or something entirely new.