User vs usage friendly

An article, posted about 3 years ago filed in , , , & .

In English usability folks typically talk about user friendliness. Literally translated, user friendly translates in Dutch to "Gebruikersvriendelijk". In Dutch "Gebruikersvriendelijk", however, is used interchangeably with “Gebruiksvriendelijk” (see also: Taaladvies) which translates literally back to “usage friendliness”. Not too fast: these might be two different concepts after all.

  English Dutch
User friendly / gebruikersvriendelijk 61,300,000 622,000
Usage friendly / gebruiksvriendelijk 5,930 250,000
Ratio 1 / 10.000 5 / 2

Table: Google’s frequency counts for the different languages

User friendly

User friendly is about being nice to the user. Making something user friendly may be about nice icons, nice words, nice visual design, but you can, strictly speaking, still be very friendly and not allow a user to accomplish a certain task.

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It's digital stupid

Notes by Luke Wroblewski on the Martin Belam (Guardian) talk at EuroIA:

> Up front, the team did not get their API model right. They tried to use ISBNs for books and did not heed advice that ISBNs are “evil”.

Sounds quite familiar :)

> They (ISBN numbers, ed.) are a physical system not a digital system. They don’t identify a unique work but a specific edition. They don’t cover anthologies, they are added to CDs, calendars and even card displays.

Lately I've been wanting to slam my head quite a couple times for a similar reason: not choosing the right identifier. While much of the data I work with lately has multiple codes/numbers that look like unique identifiers usable in the digital environment I am building. None of them, however, fitted my desired digital world view. While I could have adopted the real world view underlying the existing identifiers, that view did not fit the …

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