Information Usability

The usability of a system depends on two equally important factors: the conceptual and the visual. Unless both these characteristics are well-designed then the system will not meet expectations and could end up being a costly mistake.

All too often systems and websites are designed with regard only for the look and feel, ignoring the deeper, and harder to create, conceptual basis for the system. The Metataxis approach is to design the conceptual model first, to build the information architecture based on that model, and then to apply a sound visual design to the implemented system.

In web usability this entails a number of aspects, including an understanding of the users’ mental models and the language they use. For example is the state pension a “benefit” or an “entitlement”? Officially it can be considered a benefit, but if you ask a pensioner who has spent 50 years paying national insurance they might view it differently, and they might not think of clicking the “benefits” link when seeking information about their pension.

Usability also includes an understanding of the visual aspects of the system, such as where content is placed on a page and how intuitive the navigation is. Metataxis has designed many web-based systems, both internally and externally-facing, and also works with partners who specialise in more extensive user testing and graphic design.