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Web Usability Definition

Last Updated on September 29, 2020.

‘Web Usability’
is a ‘measure of the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which a user can achieve his or her goals on a website’.

(Adapted from ISO 9241-11:2018 from the International Organization for Standardization.

Usability guidelines are based on scientific research (not opinion).

ISO 9241-11:2018 includes the following:-

Usability is a more comprehensive concept than is commonly understood by “ease-of-use” or “user friendliness”.

Usability is relevant to:

  • regular ongoing use, to enable users to achieve their goals effectively, efficiently and with satisfaction;
  • learning, to enable new users to become effective, efficient and satisfied when starting to use a system, product or service;
  • infrequent use, to enable users to be effective, efficient and satisfied, with the system on each reuse;
  • use by people with the widest range of capabilities;
  • minimizing the risk and the undesirable consequences of use errors; and
  • maintenance, in that it enables maintenance tasks to be completed effectively, efficiently and with satisfaction.

See also User Experience Basics from

Related terms:

Usability Engineering means designing a website to be user-centred (rather than technology centred), and involving users in the design process.

Usability Testing means measuring the usability of a website (or product).

Usability Consultant is someone who assesses the usability of a website.