Adaptive Path released a small part of the results of a survey “into how organizations value and practice user experience” by writing What term do you use for ‘user experience’?.

They asked:

One of the simpler questions was, “If you use other terms [than ‘user experience’] that are similar in meaning or intent, which terms do you use?”

They got back 157 terms. That’s 157 ways to describe the experience of making something usable or to communicate usability.

We had fun at Cre8asiteforums when John Rhodes asked, What is usability in one word?

If we blasted “usability” into oblivion so that it could never be used again, what word or short phrase would replace it?

Another time, someone asked for a concise definition of Website Usability?

As time goes on, responses are starting to sound etheric:

“The intuitive, almost child-like ease to accomplish anything on your site achieved through utter, transparent clarity of options and actions”

and logically practical:

Usability can be defined as “the decrease of cognitive friction users experience in task completion relative to 1) the previous version or model 2) competitor offerings 3)user goals”

Of the 157 words listed by Adaptive Path’s list that describes the experience of making something user centered, only one person chose this word.


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Kim Krause Berg’s long background in web design, SEO and usability includes software application functional and user interface testing, accessibility, information architecture and persuasive design. She shared her passion for Usability and SEO through her site and private consulting at Cre8pc for 17 years. Kim founded Cre8asiteforums in 1998. In the fall of 2012 she sold her forums to Internet Marketing Ninjas and retired from private consulting to join their Executive Management team where she continues her work in usability testing, customer experience and conversions design.

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American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

Information Architecture Institute

Usability Professionals Association (UPA)