What usability means
Usability means concentrating effort on the ease of use. It means making the tasks needed to accomplish a goal as simple, straightforward and seamless as possible. It means creating a transparent system that is easy to understand and operate instantly. Usability is thinking of the user first, last and always.
Usability is not just about making things easier for users: it is a valuable asset. It can mean the difference between success and failure for anything from operating systems to Macromedia Flash content. It can be the selling factor in a purchasing decision, or the root of someone's deep loyalty to a product or service. Usability can increase trust in a system, brand or product.
More important than what usability can accomplish is the impact of poor usability on a site visitor. Poor usability causes a loss of communication with the user, which leads to frustration and/or abandonment of the goal. Poor usability negatively impacts the brand responsible for the product or service. Poor usability also causes users to explore new methods of interacting with the product or service, which leads to them 'breaking' the system.
A focus on usability when developing Macromedia Flash content can improve the overall effectiveness a project. It also improves the effectiveness of branding and customer loyalty, and it puts the Macromedia Flash developer in the position to overcome the hurdles presented by Web standards.