Usability and user experience

Information technology

This report discusses the importance in an understanding of usability and user experience for universities and colleges, considering the huge competitive advantage well designed technology products provide.

Universities and colleges are becoming increasingly aware of the huge competitive advantage offered by desirable and well-designed technology products, such as websites, smartphone apps, e-learning materials and internal data management systems. An understanding of usability, user experience and user-centred design are key to achieving this success.

Institutions need to ensure that they have usability experts on the staff, or enough in-house know-how to make best use of external expertise. Usability techniques can be inexpensive and easy to implement, giving a good return for a modest investment.

The first section of the briefing outlines what is meant by usability and its relevance to a university's or college's success. The second section gives some tips and draws on case studies to help developers who are not usability experts make a start with applying usability principles to the development of technology products and services.

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