I want to know if this argument is a common one that is made - as it's one I was intending to conclude a report with.
I have been asked to advise on how to improve the usability of a company portal.
Part of my conclusion - and the matter on which I would like some critique is as follows:
When considering usability of a portal, design alone is only one factor of the experience. It is more appropriate to consider how to positively influence 'all-encompassing' UX. On an ecommerce website what a user needs for task completion can be mostly accommodated within the design, i.e. it does not demand the interaction of others to be 'usable'. For a company portal to become 'usable' requires an element of social interaction online such as previous postings of articles by other users, and how many users are presently online, should a user need to ask a question that requires an answer quickly. Also important is how they are introduced to the portal, which again is outside of the design.
My question is - is this a valid argument to run with? - Although I have been asked to advise on usability (I believe motivated by a desire to promote the chances of user acceptance) am I right to suggest that on a website proposed to support a community, the UX (involving not just influencing by design) is important too?
Nb. for usability I have been suggesting throughout that this is a product of ease of use and usefulness, but could now conclude that 'usefulness' in particular is also influenced by the past, present, and future use of others (not necessarily true for amazon.com)