What is Software Usability?
According to ISO 9241-11 (1998), usability is the “extent to which a product can be used by specified users
to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.”
What is Usability Testing?
Usability testing refers to evaluating the ease with which users can learn and use a product. The scope of this phrase, however, can mean different things to different people. Some people refer to usability testing as only the process that employs participants who are representative of the target population to evaluate the degree to which a product meets specific usability criteria (Barnum, 2002). Other practitioners use the term more globally to refer to any technique used to evaluate how easy a product or system is to use. The authors tend to concur with the latter definition because research has shown that participant involvement is a desirable, but not essential, part of evaluating all aspects of system usability.
Cost-Benefit Value of Usability Testing
The basic assumption of a cost-benefit analysis of usability strategies is that a usable system will result in
tangible, measurable benefits. There are many different areas where usability strategies can have cost-benefit
- Development – how usability results in optimization of the development process
- Technical Support – how usability results in technical support savings
- Sales – how usability increases product sales
- Use – how usability positively impacts user performance and satisfaction
Answer to all these questions: A nice article on Usability testing..