Many friends of mine asked me before, what exactly is usability ? I am sure they can find their own answer if they search hard enough from the net, or just buy a few books such as “Don’t Make Me Think” and “Design of Every Day Things” (see below). The problem is you know, they want quick answer, they don’t want to waste their time.
So here is my sample answer – “What if your mobile phone’s numeric pad’s arrangement is 1 2 3, 4 5 6, 7 8 9, 0 and your friend’s phone is 7 8 9, 4 5 6, 1 2 3, 0 ?” And “what if your home’s Hi-Fi requires you to turn the volume knot anti-clockwise to increase the volume, instead of clockwise ?”
As you can see, something that don’t need you to think before you use it, something share the same design pattern if they have the same purpose … and this is the usability. And obviously, it applies to the web as well – don’t create fancy stuff and user interface just for sake of design.