Usable, Useful, Desirable

I’ve been thinking that different kinds of artifacts have different ratios of usability, usefulness, and desirability. It’d be nice to express this at the beginning of a project to set everyone’s expectations and syncronize design approaches. But how to express it?

Perhaps by analogy?

high desire, moderate usability

moderately high desire, despite low usabilty

only moderate desire, but high usability

low desire, low usability

Usefulness seems like a contextual and subjective quality, not a quality of the artifact itself. I could imagine owning two very different coffee makers and each would be more useful depending on the situation. A percolator is the best choice when you’re camping.

Ultimately usability and desirability are relative too. For example, my sister-in-law loves the coffee from her percolator. As usual, it’s important to know who you’re designing for.

Same idea, in PDF format.

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