Web Want to Usability

Yes.  I am making up lingo.

Three stylish little Apple boxes each smaller and cuter than the last.The podcast on Innovations in Web Input brought up an interesting Apple phenomenon.  We all like to get packages and open new things, but Apple takes it to another level.  Opening an Apple product is an event.   People actually take pictures of each stage of the opening of their Apple box.   The box that your new MacBook or iPod comes in is clever and interesting.  The packaging adds to the event and is part of the overall experience. 

The reason I bring this up is because Apple takes it past simply trying to make something easy to use to something that people want to use.   There is a difference.  Think about your first iPod; playing with that dial and watching the brightly lit album covers slide across the screen.  Think about getting the touch screen iPhone and using your finger to flip through pictures and then zooming with your pointer and thumb.  I zoomed in on so many pictures that I didn’t even want to see in detail, just because it was so fun.  I liked it enough to try to think of more ways to use the phone.  Even now that it isn’t new, I pull it out and “slide to unlock” for no reason and then think, “what do I want to look at?”  I just want to use it. 

In my previous post, I discussed basic web usability.  In the stepping up to want to usability, basic web usability cannot be left behind. Sticking with my Apple example, the Apple website follows the rules; the logo is in the top left corner of every page ready to take me right back to the homepage, the search box is in the top right, my menus are always available.

The want-to comes from the extra touch of finesse.  In the Store section of the website, the search feature helps you along.  Type in an “ip” and it will give an assortment of suggestions without even hitting “Enter”.  Check  out the iPod engraving gallery.  It allows the user to select various sayings and iPod colors and then shows you what your new engraved iPod will look like.  

Web want to usability is not quite as simple as web usability.  It can’t be condensed to a handy checklist.  It is going beyond trying to not frustrate the user during their experience, to making the user think of excuses to experience the site again.

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