Cognitive Processing

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 193–197

On the dimensionality of the System Usability Scale: a test of alternative measurement models

Letter to the editor

DOI: 10.1007/s10339-009-0268-9

Cite this article as:
Borsci, S., Federici, S. & Lauriola, M. Cogn Process (2009) 10: 193. doi:10.1007/s10339-009-0268-9


The System Usability Scale (SUS), developed by Brooke (Usability evaluation in industry, Taylor & Francis, London, pp 189–194, 1996), had a great success among usability practitioners since it is a quick and easy to use measure for collecting users’ usability evaluation of a system. Recently, Lewis and Sauro (Proceedings of the human computer interaction international conference (HCII 2009), San Diego CA, USA, 2009) have proposed a two-factor structure—Usability (8 items) and Learnability (2 items)—suggesting that practitioners might take advantage of these new factors to extract additional information from SUS data. In order to verify the dimensionality in the SUS’ two-component structure, we estimated the parameters and tested with a structural equation model the SUS structure on a sample of 196 university users. Our data indicated that both the unidimensional model and the two-factor model with uncorrelated factors proposed by Lewis and Sauro (Proceedings of the human computer interaction international conference (HCII 2009), San Diego CA, USA, 2009) had a not satisfactory fit to the data. We thus released the hypothesis that Usability and Learnability are independent components of SUS ratings and tested a less restrictive model with correlated factors. This model not only yielded a good fit to the data, but it was also significantly more appropriate to represent the structure of SUS ratings.


QuestionnaireUsability evaluationSystem Usability Scale

Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simone Borsci
    • 1
  • Stefano Federici
    • 2
  • Marco Lauriola
    • 3
  1. 1.ECoNA, Interuniversity Centre for Research on Cognitive Processing in Natural and Artificial SystemsUniversity of Rome ‘La Sapienza’RomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Human and Educational SciencesUniversity of PerugiaPerugiaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Psychology of Socialization and Development ProcessesUniversity of Rome ‘La Sapienza’RomeItaly