Why Usability?!

Sometimes we at Use-Lab are asked, "What do we need all of this usability stuff for anyways?" You could translate this question as "Why does Use-Lab exist?"

Our answer, which we've been giving for almost 20 years, is that better usability leads to greater user satisfaction. And that an iterative usability engineering process allows products that actually meet users' requirements to be developed.

But another, even more important, aspect that is still gaining prominence on the international stage is patient safety. Back in 1999 a U.S. study called "To Err is Human" described the 60 000 to 90 000 deaths in the USA that are attributable to medical error. This number has been adjusted up almost every year since. In 2014 the Biomedical Journal (BMJ) spoke of 440 000 deaths, making medical error the third leading cause of death in the United States. Even without replicating studies in Germany or Europe at large, it's safe to assume that many deaths here are caused by this sort of error.

In January a documentary titled "To Err is Human" is scheduled to be released. This film dramatically shows the fates of several victims of medical errors as well as efforts to improve patient safety.

Click here to watch the trailer and learn how you can order a copy.