At my company we’re about to pilot a new method for measuring usability, originally proposed at the 2005 Usability Professionals Association annual conference (Sauro, J. & Kindlund E. (2005) “Making Sense of Usability Metrics: Usability and Six Sigma” in Proceedings of the Usability Professionals Association (UPA 2005) Conference Montreal, Canada).
Essentially, the method above consolidates four of the standard measures we already take (User Satisfaction, Success or Completion Rate, Error Incidence, and Time-to-Complete) into a single quality measure. What I like most about this measure is that it combines two of the biggest concepts in my company, and helps to address the frequent questions we get about the accuracy and dependability of standard usability studies – typically deriving recommendations by testing a very small population of a very large user audience. The other great benefit of this metric helps with a challenge faced by my team – the fact that we oversee over 140 different applications, content delivery systems and static web sites. Having one common measure across all systems will help us relate them to each other in new ways, and will help determine which systems require the greatest help. For more information, review the paper above. Also recommend visiting MeasuringUsability.com and checking out the Usability Professional’s Association to learn more about usability. – Bryan