You have created a great disaster recovery plan for your organization in the event of a security attack, but is your plan actually user-friendly? Usability is the word used to describe systems and products that are easier to use and created to meet the needs and requirements of those using them. Jakob Nielsen, author of “Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity,” identifies the 5 elements of usability, and while his focus was on web design, these elements can be applied to any industry. Here is a look at the elements of usability and how they can be applied to create a foolproof disaster recovery plan:
Learnability is the measure of how quickly and effectively a user can learn a system. The amount of time it takes to thoroughly learn the system is considered the primary measurement. In the event of a cyber attack, how fast will your team achieve a minimum level of competence when using disaster recovery tools that are in place? Typically, systems will be easier to learn when they are based on core psychological properties and industry standards.
An efficient system is one that performs or functions in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and energy. A disaster recovery plan must be fast and easy to implement when a breach has occurred. Updated technology and backup data storage are just a couple options to ensure your disaster recovery plan will be efficient in the event of an attack.
Memorability refers to how easily a system can be remembered or memorized. Many companies will train their employees on disaster recovery, but do not need to use the systems in place for a while. Will your employees still remember the disaster recovery years after you have implemented it? Organizations should be training their employees regularly and using systems that will be easy to remember after longer periods of time. Imagery and repetition are common tools used to help remember or learn systems.
Error rate is the frequency in which errors occur in a given time period. Disaster recovery systems that have been set in place should be relatively error-free for users. If employees are making multiple or critical errors when applying disaster recovery tools, it may be time to reconsider the system. The causes of user errors should be identified in order to understand where changes need to be made.
Satisfaction can refer to two things: the gratification of desire or the contentment derived from the gratification. When measuring satisfaction in usability, generally that refers to the fulfillment or gratification of a desire. Do the employees appreciate the disaster recovery systems that are in place or are they apprehensive of them? Organizations should survey employees and IT teams on the usability of their recovery systems in order to measure satisfaction.
Disaster recovery planning can be tricky because you do not always know what you are planning for and how well your system will hold up during a security attack. In the end, it does not always come down to how rigorous your recovery system is, but rather how user-friendly it is. By careful testing and surveying of the five elements above, companies will be able to measure the usability of their systems and ensure successful recovery tactics are in place.