City Usability: A Proposal for Evaluating the Perceived Usability of a City on the Basis of the Website Quality Models

  • Antonio OpromollaEmail author
  • Valentina Volpi
  • Roberta Grimaldi
  • Carlo Maria Medaglia
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9731)


The assumption at the basis of this work is that people are an essential part of the city and that its different elements are adapted to the desires of citizens who live in. In order to do that it is important to apply adequate methodologies and tools that help to identify the user needs and to design solutions with people. In this paper we propose to apply the concept of “usability”, borrowed from the Human-Computer Interaction field, to the city environment in order to adopt a user perspective about the interaction with a specific territory. So, we identify the equivalences between the main features of the website quality models and those present at the city level, through a usability framework composed by a series of elements to consider for trying to create a human-centered city.


Usability Smart city User perspective Website quality model 


  1. 1.
    Oliveira, Á., Campolargo, M.: From smart cities to human smart cities. In: 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, pp. 2336−2344. IEEE Computer Science, Washington (2015)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Norman, D.A.: The Psychology of Everyday Things. Basic books, New York (1988)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sanders, E.B.N., Stappers, P.J.: Co-creation and the new landscapes of design. Co-Design 4(1), 5–18 (2008)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Schuurman, D., Baccarne, B., De Marez, L., Mechant, P.: Smart ideas for smart cities: investigating crowdsourcing for generating and selecting ideas for ICT innovation in a city context. J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 7(3), 49–62 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Giffinger R., Fertner C., Kramar H., Kalasek R., Pichler-Milanović N., Meijers E.: Smart Cities: Ranking of European Medium-Sized Cities. Centre of Regional Science at the Vienna University of Technology, Department of Geography at University of Ljubljana and the OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies at the Delft University of Technology (2007).
  6. 6.
    Cohen B.: What exactly is a smart city? Fast Co.Exist (2012).
  7. 7.
    Lombardi P., Giordano S., Farouh H., Wael Y.: An analytic network model for smart cities. In: 11th International Symposium on the Analytic Hierarchy Process for Multicriteria Decision Making, pp. 1−6. AHP Academy (2011)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Marsal-Llacuna, M.L.: City indicators on social sustainability as standardization technologies for smarter (citizen-centered) governance of cities. Soc. Indic. Res., 1–24 (2015)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Tuters, M., de Lange, M.: Executable urbanisms: messing with Ubicomp’s singular future. In: Buschauer R., Willis K.S. (eds.): Locative Media: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Media and Locality, pp. 49−70. Transcript, Bielefeld (2013)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lynch, K.: The Image of the City. MIT Press, Cambridge (1960)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Tan, G.W., Wei, K.K.: An empirical study of web browsing behaviour: towards an effective website design. Electron. Commer. Res. Appl. 5(4), 261–271 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dieberger, A., Frank, A.U.: A city metaphor to support navigation in complex information spaces. J. Vis. Lang. Comput. 9(6), 597–622 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cato, J.: User-Centered Web Design. Addison Wesley, Boston (2001)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hinton, A.: Understanding Context: Environment, Language, and Information Architecture. O’Reilly Media, Sebastopol (2014)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bauer, C., Scharl, A.: Quantitive evaluation of web site content and structure. Internet Res. 10(1), 31–44 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Nielsen, J., Molich, R.: Heuristic evaluation of user interfaces. In: Carrasco Chew, J., Whiteside, J. (eds.) SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 249−256. ACM, New York (1990)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wharton, C., Rieman, J., Lewis, C., Polson, P.: The cognitive walkthrough method: a practitioner’s guide. In: Usability Inspection Methods, pp. 105−140. Wiley, New York (1994)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Chin, J.P., Diehl, V.A., Norman, K.L.: Development of an instrument measuring user satisfaction of the human-computer interface. In: O’Hare, J.J. (ed.) SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 213−218. ACM, New York (1988)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Polillo, R.: Il Check-up dei Siti Web. Valutare la Qualità per Migliorarla. Edizioni Apogeo, Milano (2004)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Rocha, Á.: Framework for a global quality evaluation of a website. Online Inf. Rev. 36(3), 374–382 (2012)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Opromolla
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Valentina Volpi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Roberta Grimaldi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carlo Maria Medaglia
    • 1
  1. 1.Link Campus UniversityRomeItaly
  2. 2.ISIA Roma DesignRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations