The System Usability Scale: Past, Present, and Future

Despite being described by its developer as a “quick and dirty” usability scale, the System Usability Scale (SUS), developed in the mid-1980s and first published in the mid-1990s, has become a popular questionnaire for end-of-test subjective assessments of usability. For example, the SUS accounted for 43% of post-test questionnaire usage in a recent study of a collection of unpublished usability studies. Research conducted on the SUS in the past ten years has shown that although it is fairly quick, it does not appear to be dirty. This speech will cover (1) the development and proliferation of the SUS, (2) a summary of key research on the SUS from 2008 through 2016, (3) details about some of the latest (and in several cases not yet published) research on the SUS, and (4) what the future holds for the SUS, which will be 32 years old in 2018.

Who is James Robert Lewis

James R. (Jim) Lewis, PhD, has been a usability practitioner at IBM since 1981. In addition to his decades of applied work, he has published influential research on the measurement of perceived usability, use of confidence intervals, and sample size estimation for usability studies. His books include “Practical Speech User Interface Design” (2011) and “Quantifying the User Experience” (2012/2016, with Jeff Sauro). He serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, the Journal of Usability Studies, and Voice Interaction Design. From 2004-2005 he chaired the Formative Usability Testing Metrics Workgroup for National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He is a BCPE Certified Human Factors Professional, an IBM Master Inventor with over 90 US patents, and past-president of the Association for Voice Interaction Design.

About the organizer

UXservices is a specialized user research and user experience design consulting firm, based in Istanbul, Turkey. UXservices has a global reach to latest UX and usability know-how thanks to its active role in international organizations like UXPA, UX Fellows and IAI. UXservices has credentials and experience in a wide variety of interface platforms at different industries including telco, banking, finance, retail and more.


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