Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Usability

  • Nigel Bevan
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_441

Synonyms

User centered design

Definition

A product is usable if the intended users can achieve their goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use [8]. Usability is achieved by taking a user-centered approach to design, and thus ensuring that the product incorporates characteristics that support usability.

Historical Background

Usability was adopted as a technical term to replace the phrase “user friendly,” which by the early 1980s had acquired undesirably vague and subjective connotations. It is a goal for product design in the scientific fields of HCI, human factors and ergonomics. In 1985 Gould and Lewis [5] described the central principles of what became known as user-centered design [15]: (i) early focus on users and tasks., (ii) empirical measurement, (iii) iterative design.

Usability has since grown into an established discipline with the Usability Professionals Association founded in 1991, and the landmark book by Nielsen on Usability...

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Recommended Reading

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    Bevan N. Quality in use: meeting user needs for quality. J Syst Softw. 1999;49(1):89–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Bevan N. Cost benefits framework and case studies. In: Bias RG, Mayhew DJ, editors. Cost-justifying usability: an update for the internet age. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann; 2005.Google Scholar
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    Dumas JS, Redish JC. A practical guide to usability testing. Norwood: Ablex Publishing Corporation; 1993.Google Scholar
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    Gould JD, Lewis C. Designing for usability: key principles and what designers think. Commun ACM. 1985;28(3):300–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    ISO TR 18529. Human-centred lifecycle process descriptions. ISO, 2000.Google Scholar
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    ISO/IEC CD 25010. Software engineering – Software product Quality Requirements and Evaluation (SQuaRE) – Quality model. ISO, 2008.Google Scholar
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    ISO/IEC FCD 25012. Software engineering – software product quality requirements and evaluation (SQuaRE) – Data quality model. ISO, 2008.Google Scholar
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    Nielsen J. Usability engineering. San Diego: Academic; 1993.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    NIST. Industry usability reporting, 2007. Available at: www.nist.gov/iusr
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    Norman DA, Draper SW. User centered system design new perspectives on human-computer interaction. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; 1986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    O’Hara J., Stubler W., Higgins J., and Brown W. Integrated system validation: methodology and review criteria (NUREG/CR-6393), 1995. Available at: www.bnl.gov/humanfactors/Publications.asp
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    Snyder C. Paper prototyping the fast and easy Way to define and refine user interfaces. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann; 2003.Google Scholar
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    U.S. Department of Health and Human Sciences. Research-based web design & usability guidelines, 2006. Available at: www.usability.gov/guidelines

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professional Usability ServicesLondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Tiziana Catarci
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. di Ingegneria Informatica, Automatica e GestionaleUniversita di RomaRomaItaly