Usability as Recognition

Liz Danzico discusses how we may reduce (in analyzing, discussing, designing) web sites to interface design patterns, and how this may have ironically backfired on us. She proposes a new awareness of this tendency to intellectualize our observation of sites.

Our ability to analyze usability of sites is hindered by the very fact that we're so familiar with them! We can't see past our own expectations at times, causing us to fall back on standards that may not be appropriate for our audiences.

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I'm proposing that we need to stop recognizing sites. Because there are no reliable standards, there cannot be one methodology for evaluating a usable site. You'll come across a number of "recognized" standards, but perception is subjective. Emphasis on perception of usability will allow us to see that negative space ... to intuit subjective opinions by being perceptive. We just need to be aware.

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