Evaluating and Improving Software Usability

Today’s web-based application (WebApps) developers, designers, and testers must focus on improving the ease of usability and quality of user experience for their viewers. Especially with SaaS-based business models, where users can switch applications at a heartbeat and pay by the month (or even a free trial).

Both usability and user experience become paramount when there is no up-front investment forcing a user to stay.

Best practices

The ISO 25010 standard describes a model for general usage in specifying and evaluating software quality requirements, one of which is usability, but there are no models or formal definitions for user experience, nor its relation to usability. UX, on the other hand, does not have any formal standard definition, although some models have been developed regarding its elements. Models and research have been used mostly for the purpose of understanding, rather than evaluating improvements.

In this presentation, we draw relationships between usability and user experience and demonstrate measurement and evaluation methods that can be used as the first step toward improving usability.

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