One of the greatest challenges posed to developers by web-based applications involves usability.
When the user is dumbfounded, the application has failed. It should be the developers’ goal, then, to never encounter such a scenario. But how is this accomplished? First, issues with usability can be avoided with a direct focus on product and development troubleshooting. Through testing and designing, you can often catch snags.
Web-based applications have their own demands and need to be approached with this in mind. There isn’t a blanket methodology to mend usability issues. A design best practices process is just that. Still, in web-based application development, you should remember that you’re working on a different platform, and as such, are liable to encounter unique problems.
Often times, your product positioning will depend on how attentive you were to usability when you were in the design and testing phases. Read this article by Jared Spool for more information on this topic.