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--- Human interaction with the system ---


Define the term usability.


Teaching Note:

S/E This includes ergonomics and accessibility.


Sample Question:


JSR Notes:


These remaining assessment statements of Topic 1 are all pretty big issues. Sooner or later we all will likely need accessibility assistance. Ergonomics, and potential health issues will, I guarantee you be a part of your life, whether you like it or not. We deal with usability issues of the IT in our lives almost continually. And ethics and morality should be at the forefront of everything we do/say/think.  So even though these may not be nuts and bolts CS concepts, they are very important things for us to continually keep in mind and to develop our understanding of.



Usability: the degree to which a product is easy to use.

Or put in a slightly more technical way: "Usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use."


Usability can be defined by 4 general quality components, and 2 more IT-specific components:

But along with these general usability quality components, two others should be added, particularly for I.T. devices:


A quick list of things that can add to (or detract from) usability:


More on Ergonomics

The term "ergonomics" is derived from two Greek words: "ergon," meaning work, and "nomoi," meaning natural laws. So with ergonomic design we seek to design the objects we work with so that they interact naturally with the shape and functioning of our bodies.

Thus, ergonomics is about designing for people, wherever they interact with products, systems or processes, optimizing performance, safety and comfort of the user.

In particular, with I.T. devices, it is repetitive stress injuries that we are seeking to avoid with good ergonomic design and good ergonomic habits.

Three parts of the body are most susceptible to ergonomic issues: eyes, hands & forearms, back.

For more details that go beyond this assessment statement, refer to the information at this link. Particularly if you are to pursue some sort of computer related study and/or work, there is some really important information and advice. If there was one and only one overreaching good piece of advice, it would be, simply: Variety.


Ergonomic Devices

(My personal favourites - most of which I use daily)




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