“A user interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it’s not that good.”
– Martin LeBlanc
Usability is the ability of a system to help users achieve their goals effectively, efficiently, and satisfactorily. (ISO 9241 Part 11)
Learnability is the ability of a system to help it’s users accommodate with the system interface measured over a period of time and interactions.
In the previous article, we saw how Systems Usability Scale helps measure the usability of the system. In this article, we intend to learn about the Learnability of a system. (pun intended).
Ideally, people should get accustomed to the user interface and remember it’s functionality on their first interaction with the same.
Imagine your users understanding the navigation and the structure of your app on their first use and never have to contact support.
This rarely happens in the real world. And, that’s’ where the learnability factor comes in. Learnability helps us understand how users perform a task and accomplish their goals on the first use of the app (or the system) and how many repetitions do they require to be proficient at the same task.
While usability tells us how easy to use a system is, learnability tells us how easy to learn to use the system is.
Even if learnability and usability are two different concepts, the high learnability of a system contributes to its usability.
That is because a system that’s easy to learn requires low training cost and quick onboarding.
Measuring learnability requires two parameters. Time and number of repetitions. The graph drawn with the help of these two parameters is known as the learning curve.
(This learning curve shows the hypothetical completion time for a backup as a function of the number of task repetitions (or trials). Notice that the time for the first repetition is longest, and then the completion time decreases — by trial 4, it levels off, reaching the saturation plateau. Although details such as how many repetitions are needed to reach saturation will vary from case to case, this learning curve is representative of all human learning.) (Credits – www.nngroup.com)
As per Alita Joyce, there are 3 aspects of learnability:
We can see that the different aspects of learnability relate to different types of users. Measuring learnability for a system that’s used repetitively and extensively, like Tally ERP, is necessary since it affects the productivity of the user. High learnability contributes to usability since it motivates users to stick with the system. Also, high learnability equals less training cost.
Measuring learnability for one-time use systems is useless and a waste of time and money.
3 Elements Influence Learnability:
“Consistency is one of the most powerful usability principles: when things always behave the same, users don’t have to worry about what will happen. Instead, they know what will happen based on earlier experience.” ~ Jakob Nielsen
At ArtAttackk we follow these learnability principles to design websites and apps. Take a look at our designs.
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