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Nov 9, 2023 4 min read

Happy World Usability Day!

Leah Woodbury By: Leah Woodbury

World Usability Day, or Make Things Easier Day, founded in 2005 and is celebrated annually on the second Thursday in November. This day promotes the values of usability, usability engineering, user-centered design, universal usability and every user’s obligation to demand better things. 

At Procare Solutions, user-centered design is at the heart of what we do when planning enhancements to our all-in-one child care management solution. 

Let’s take a look at four questions about this topic and get answers from Melissa Skrbic-Huss, our director of UI/UX design! 

What is UX Design? 

This area of design focuses on user’s experience that includes understanding user needs, conducting research and designing intuitive interfaces.  Simply put, it’s what a person interacting with a product or service takes away from the entire experience. 

It also focuses on the visual, interactive elements of a product to create accessibility and to help people use the product. It is made up of all the elements that enable someone to interact with a product or service.  

Walt Disney is widely credited with being one of the first user experience designers.  

He famously sent friends and family on amusement park rides before the rides opened to the public to get their feedback. He then used their comments to improve the experience. That’s a big part of what we in UX design do every day!  

What Are the Differences Between User Experience and Usability?   

 Sometimes, user experience and usability are intertwined. But they do have different meanings.  

User experience focuses on how the user feels before, during and after using our product. We focus on the users’ emotions, preferences, skills and behaviors to measure these.  

Additionally, we analyze how useful the feature or product is. During user research, we ask ourselves whether users can achieve their goal easily. We also want to know if the user can interact efficiently with the features, and whether he or she is satisfied with the experience?  

We create useful features by receiving user feedback and following an iterative design process.    

 Usability is important because if users do not feel our products help them obtain their goals, they will look elsewhere. Although ease of use and satisfaction define usability, desirable products are directly related to meeting the user’s needs. Products should be valuable and usable so that users can benefit from them.  

Therefore, usability allows us to move from a functional product to a product that helps our customers grow!  

What’s An Example of How Procare Solutions Puts These Practices into Effect? 

 On the UI/UX team of Procare Solutions, we ask ourselves this question: how are we improving our customers’ lives?  Some might think this is a systemic approach to design. But as UX practitioners, we know that to help our customers grow, we must strive to design a better experience than they are using today.  

A great example is our recent enhancements to the bulk activity manager in Procare Online. Our customers want to approve teacher messages before they are sent to parents. The activity manager fulfills this need. However, the director had to approve each message separately, which required multiple clicks.  

With our new enhancement to approve multiple messages at once, we reduced the time it took to complete the goal and included additional delights to the feature.    

Check out this video to learn more:

What’s Next for Usability?  

 As we move into the next era of technology, usability will become even more critical.  

We must consider how users interact efficiently with technologies like AI and their satisfaction with its usefulness. This will allow us to keep creating better solutions and to continue improving our customers’ lives. We know that child care providers are the backbone of the economy and we work hard every day to support the important work they do! 

Discover strategies, tools and best practices to propel your child care business to new heights

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Leah Woodbury

Leah Woodbury is the head of content at Procare Solutions. Her job includes writing about topics that matter to child care professionals and finding ways to help them do their important work. She’s a mom of two who loves getting updates about what her preschooler is doing during the day via the Procare child care mobile app!

Leah Woodbury