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A person testing a product during a usability test. A man is standning next to them with a clipboard in hand.
Photo: Emil Stenberg

What is World Usability Day?

World Usability Day is organized yearly on the second Thursday of November. The day is about celebrating the progress made in creating useful products and spreading knowledge about how usability affects our daily lives. Simply put, how to make our world work a little better.

World Usability Day was established in 2005 by the User Experience Professionals Association. The conference is held annually in multiple locations around the world to promote usability, usability engineering, user-centered design, universal usability, and every user's right to demand systems that work better. The common goal is to ensure that services and products in people's everyday lives become easier to access and easier to use. The technology that is developed must be inclusive, useful and contribute to creating a more equal world. This year's conference takes place on November 10 with the theme "Our health".

What is “usability” and why is it important?

The ISO standard 9241-11 defines usability as the ”extent to which a system, product or service can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use."

New technology today is difficult to use for many. Usability is about focusing on the user's needs and limitations. Technical solutions should improve our lives, not increase our stress or cause danger due to ill-conceived design or poor quality. A conscious design process puts human needs and desires at the center and results in technology that benefits us all.

Inclusive design with user testing

The world is changing at a rapid pace, and we strive for a society where everyone, regardless of their circumstances, can participate on equal terms. A prerequisite for this is the development of technologies that put people first.

User studies are increasingly more commonplace in the design process today. Learning how to understand your users and how user-friendly a product is opens up the opportunity to make changes early and gain new insights into the end user and their needs. Through user studies assumptions about the user, their needs and the overall usability of the product can be confirmed, questioned, or refuted.

Tests can also involve evaluating whether the product is adapted for use by all types of users. By designing products that take people’s different circumstances into account they become easier to use for everyone. Well-designed products and services allow people to coexist on equal terms.

We are Human Experience

The unit for Human Experience at RISE help authorities and companies with usability tests and evaluations of products and services to understand the needs of users and end consumers.

Our Usability Researchers have broad experience in interacting with the user and we offer customized solutions according to the specific needs of the project. This could be anything from a small user study to a more comprehensive approach for how the user experience can become part of the internal development process. We offer support all the way from planning, implementation and analysis and deliver valuable insights and recommendations as a basis for decision-making and further development. This is how we want to create a more inclusive and equal world, free from obstacles in everyday life.

A one-of-a-kind testing facility

We also manage UX Lab, a modern testing facility for evaluating usability. The lab is modular and simulates the natural environment of the products being evaluated. With the latest technology and cutting-edge expertise in qualitative methods, we offer a test environment that works for several different products and needs. In UX Lab, we can carry out various forms of user tests, market research and focus group discussions. We can also perform high-quality video recordings of the tests, which are then edited together into comprehensible summaries. There is also the possibility to observe the tests, either on-site or via live stream.