A conversation with eric reiss, author of usable usability: Simple steps for making stuff better


  • Thom Haller

    Teacher, Speaker, Writer, and user Advocate
    1. Teaches principles of performance-based information architecture and usability. Since 1998, Thom has taught classes on architecting usable web/Intranet sites. As a teacher, Thom enables students to structure information so people can find it, use it and appreciate the experience
    Search for more papers by this author



In an interview with the author, Eric Reiss discusses his contributions to information architecture, including his recent book, which explores usability from two angles. He breaks down the topic into “ease of use,” focusing on physical interaction, and “elegance and clarity,” addressing psychological aspects, each with five simple subtopics. The analysis lends itself to client presentations and to teaching students. Reiss prompts all to look at how well any product functions and at any website to consider its success on aspects including function, ergonomics, convenience, logic and predictability. Contemplating the foundations of his work, he traces his interest in usability back to redesigning a rocking horse as a three-year-old.