Basics Usability 101

Basics Usability 101

Literature in this category is especially useful when you are new to usability, or when you want to check the basics.

Usability basics

  • Gould, J. D. and C. Lewis (1985) “Designing for usability: key principles and what designers think.” Communications of the ACM 28 (3): 360-411.
    An early paper outlining the basic principles of user-centred design
    user-centered design, principles, process
  • Jordan, P. W. (1998) An Introduction To Usability, Taylor and Francis.
    In 120 pages Patrick Jordan explains what usability is and discusses a great number of usability methods. The best jumpstart to usability there is.
    defining usability, methods, handbook, usability testing, techniques
  • Leventhal, L. and J. Barnes (2007). Usability engineering : process, products, and examples, Pearson Education, Inc.
    Introduction in a general usability approach in the development of consumer products.
  • Grudin, J. (1992) “Utility and usability: research issues and development contexts.” Interacting with Computers 4 (2): 209-217.
    Discusses the relation between utility (usefullness) and usability and therefore gives a better understanding of usability.
    defining usability, functionality, utility, usefullness

Usability in design

  • Wickens, C.D., Lee, J.L., Liu, Y. and Gordon-Becker, S. (2003) “An introduction to human factors engineering“, Prentice Hall
    An introduction into usability engineering; fills the gap between system engineering and cognitive psychology, can be used as a course book
    introduction, human factors, methodology, usability
  • Helen Sharp, Yvonne Rogers & Jenny Preece (2007) “Interaction Design: Beyond Human–Computer Interaction“, 2nd ed. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
    Overview of all tools and techniques to design interactive products.

Product development process

Usability definition

  • Hertzum, M. (2010) “Images of Usability.” International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 26 (6): 567-600.
    A discussion of the different perspectives/definitions that there are on usability.
    defining usability, perspectives, definitions
  • Shackel, B. (1984) The concept of usability. . Visual Display Terminals. J. Bennet. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, Inc.
    Bookchapter that was one of the first attempts at conceptually defining usability and human-product interaction.
    defining usability, human-computer interaction, fundamentals
  • ISO (2007) ISO 20282-3: Ease of operation of everyday products — Part 3: Test method for consumer products. ISO 20282. Geneva, Switzerland, International Organization for Standardization.
    Definition of usability for everyday products by the ISO organisation including effectiveness, efficiency, satisfaction.
    defining usability, definitions
  • Bevan, N. What is Usability. In: Human Aspects in Computing: Design and Use of Interactive Systems with Terminals. 1991
    A more populair description of the ISO definition for usability.


Principles and guidelines

  • Lidwell, W., Holden, K. and Butler, J. (2010) “Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated“, Rockport Publishers
    Hands out  125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design