Anybody Can Do It


Recently, Jakob Nielsen published one of his Alertbox posts with the title Anybody Can Do Usability. In this post, he made a comparison between cooking and usability.

According to Jakob, usability is like cooking dinner:

  • Everybody needs the outcome;
  • Anybody can perform the most basic activities;
  • Anyone can learn these basics pretty quickly;
  • There’s a level of excellence beyond the basics;
  • Skill levels form a continuum from beginner to expert.

The cooking analogy stretches even further:

  • Although multi-star gourmet restaurants are wonderful, there’s also a place in the world for modest neighborhood restaurants.
  • Even if you can afford it, you shouldn’t eat out every day.
  • Variety is the spice of life.
  • Sometimes it’s nice to have others do the work.
  • There’s value to being an outsider who’s not restrained by corporate politics or “the way things are usually done.”

So like cooking, anybody can do usability; the basic methods are simple enough.