User experience and usability: differences and similarities

User experience and usability: differences and similarities

User experience and usability are two terms that can be confused, but they are not exactly synonymous. Although good usability is key for a positive user experience (also known as UX, user experience), there are some differences that we are going to explore in this article.

At Doowebs we are clear that neither of the two aspects should be sacrificed, since both are essential for your customer base to continue growing. We hope that at the end of these paragraphs you will better understand how to use both elements to your advantage when working on your website.

User experience and usability definition

Let’s start by defining each of them. web usability is the degree of difficulty or simplicity of a product (in this case , a web page) at the time of use. It refers to the ability of the user to achieve the proposed goals effectively.

This usability is the ability of the web to be understood, showing itself attractive to the visitor, but meets a solely functional purpose. It is the ease of use of the page itself, which allows you to perform the usual actions without difficulty.

User experience (UX) covers a broader field, trying to offer user satisfaction throughout their interaction with the website. It understands the state of the visitor from before entering, during their movements on the page and after browsing; so it has more travel.

It is a set of emotional responses and perceptions that define the way of understanding oneself with the web. If they can say that they have had a pleasant, positive and comfortable navigation, you are looking at a favorable user experience.

So, yes: usability and user experience are closely related, the former being essential for the latter. But there are differences between usability and user experience that you should be clear about.

Let’s give an example.

Imagine an online store that you access, see the different products and buy one of them. Despite having charged you the amount, a notice appears at that moment that there is no stock available, and you have to send an email or call a switchboard to solve the incident.

The usability is correct, you have not had technical problems or anything similar. But your user experience has been a disaster, so there’s little chance of coming back. On the contrary (a good user experience without usability) it is more difficult to happen, but it could also happen.

Key aspects of usability and user experience

The usability tries to facilitate the use, understanding and learning within a website, as well as prevent possible visitor errors. It offers, through different techniques, a simple way to remember its use without making a great mental effort.

For its part, the user experience (UX) appeals to the identity of the brand and the feelings of the user, improving trust between the two. It is based on the aforementioned ease of use to make emotions blossom and engage the visitor’s senses.

How to improve the user experience and usability of a website

As you have seen in the previous example, both legs are an essential basis for users to want to spend part of their time on your page and, in the long run, decide to buy your products or hire your services. So let’s see how to work each of these sections to offer the best.

Improve usability

  • Reduce load times: If you lighten the weight of your web page, you will get the user to stay longer and
  • Reduce load times: If you lighten the weight of your web page, you will get the user to stay longer and the rebound effect does not occur.
  • Create cleaner designs: Adapting the web to all devices and improving its visual appearance is key to avoiding unwanted dropouts.
  • Provide consistency : It is important not to create tedious and long processes for the user or request irrelevant data; while we highlight the most important points for the user.
  • Show transparency and simplicity: Put yourself in the shoes of your website visitor and try to clarify the most complex concepts, always offering the information in a clear and understandable way.

Improve user experience

  • Include useful elements: Add only points that have a clear purpose for the user, regularly reviewing the statistics to find what works and what doesn’t.
  • Work on trust: Showing your tax or contact information, including a frequently asked questions section or facilitating communication is key to the experience.
  • Attract consumers : Multimedia content, the way in which products and services are presented or the general aesthetic of your brand can make the user’s visit much more pleasant.
  • Offer search facilities : If you have a lot of information or many products, you must give the possibility of locating what customers need through an internal search engine, a tag cloud or different sections.
  • Add value to the content: Beyond the material value of what you have on your website, try to improve your page with new and relevant information that differentiates you from your competition.
  • Secure private information: We close with an important point, and that is that nobody wants their data to be exposed. Invest in keeping your users’ confidentiality safe.

Get more information in this post → Tips to improve the user experience on your website 

What about accessibility?

Although it is sometimes confused with usability, the term accessibility implies an improvement in the navigation through a website for people with disabilities. For example, allowing to change the colour palette, including subtitles in the videos or adding audio description for blind people.

Unfortunately, there is currently a very small percentage of web portals that try to improve the experience of people with some difficulty, but we are sure that little by little it will become commonplace.

Now that you know the different connotations of user experience and usability (and accessibility), you can start working on all these aspects so that your website visitors want to come back again and again. We hope you feel at home on Doowebs and like to come back to our page.

And you, how do you plan to implement this on your website? If you need the help of an expert team, contact us! We are experts in development and web page design