Better websites

SUS – System Usability Scale, a summary

SUS stands for System Usability Scale. SUS was developed by Brooke (1996) as ”the quick and dirty” assessment tool – it was used to quickly and cheaply assess a product or a service. (1). A low cost usability test.

A SUS test is supposed to cover:

  • Effectiveness (the ability of users to complete tasks).
  • Efficiency (how difficult it was to perform the task).
  • Satisfaction (how the users felt when performing the task).

A system can be a car, a website or a product. SUS assessment has a reliability value of 0.85 (2).

A SUS assessment is constructed of 10 statements that are valued on a 5 point scale, according to how much the user agrees or disagrees with the statement. The result can vary between 0 and 100, where a higher score indicates better usability. Every other question is a positive statement and every other question is a negative statement, so both the user and the person analyzing the result have to stay focused!

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Better websites

Quality assessment: Measuring specific experiences of a website

Apart from a SUS (System Usability Scale) assessment – which is an established method of measuring usability – there are several other assessments that can be used for a website.

The SUS assessment is a good method for measuring the users experience of a website and how they grade the usability of a system, but it does not give any indications to what can be improved or where the users get stuck. A quality assessment can give you more values. Now, we’re still talking about experiences of a website, and not specific tasks or paths a user will take though a website, we are measuring the feeling associated with the system. Before you start you should also have a good reason for measuring and a plan for how to treat or act on the result.

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