Usability – Not as we know it!

Paula Alexandra Silva, Alan Dix

Computing Department
Lancaster University
Lancaster, LA1 4YR, UK
<Palexa on the Web> <Alan on the web>

Paper at HCI 2007, 3 - 7 September 2007, University of Lancaster, UK..

Download full paper (PDF, 289K)


YouTube has been the Internet success story of 2006. However, when subjected to conventional usability evaluation it appears to fail miserably. With this and other social Web services, the purpose of the user is fun, uncertainty, engagement and self- expression. Web2.0 has turned the passive ‘user’ into an active producer of content and shaper of the ultimate user experience. This more playful, more participative, often joyful use of technology appears to conflict with conventional usability, but we argue that a deeper ‘usability’ emerges that respects the user’s purposes whether acting as homo ludens.

keywords: YouTube, user experience, Web2.0, Evaluation, Design

Full reference:
P. Silva and A. Dix (2006). Usability – Not as we know it! In Procedings of BCS HCI 2007, People and Computers XXI, BCS eWiC
Download full paper (PDF, 289K)
HCI 2.0 panel @ HCI2007
BCS eWiCs page for the paper
mentioned in article by Joanna Bawain UsabilityNews


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Figure 1: Alexa top sites (22-05-2007)

Figure 2: YouTube main page

Figure 3: YouTube video viewing page

Alan Dix 24/12/2007