System Usability Scale (SUS)

Introduction

The System Usability Scale (SUS) is a scale which allows for the usability for a particular system or piece of equipment to be assessed. SUS was originally designed by John Brooke in 1986 at the Digital Equipment Corporation in the United Kingdom.

The Scale

The System Usability Scale is a 5-point Likert Scale, with a total of 10 items which gathers responses from the respondent from strongly disagree at point 1 to strongly agree at point 5.

The scale covers areas such as the complexity of the system or equipment being used, the functions within it, and overall feelings regarding the system or equipment.

Why is SUS Important?

The System Usability Scale is important in the area of human factors as it allows for the interaction and ergonomical factors of a particular system or piece of equipment to be assessed. It provides a quick overview on what the human user finds good or bad about the questioned system or equipment.

Results gained from the questionnaire allows for the system or equipment in question to be ‘graded’ in its usability from 0 (worst score possible) to 100 (perfect score).

Application in Aviation

The System Usability Scale is a quick and easy questionnaire that a manager anywhere in an aviation organisation could give to his or her employees to gauge the usability of various systems or equipment that are in use. If the results indicate that there may be a problem, then more thorough research and consultation should then be entered into. Further ergonomization of a particular system or piece of equipment may be conducted, or full replacement or overhaul of systems and equipment used by the people concerned.

References
1. Bangor, A., Kortum, P. & Miller, J. (2009). Determining what individual SUS scores mean: Adding an adjective rating scale. Journal of Usability Studies, 4 (3) 114-123.
2. Brooke, J. (1996). SUS – A quick and dirty usability scale. Retrieved September 22, 2010 from http://hell.meiert.org/core/pdf/sus.pdf?/
3. Wikipedia. (2010). System Usability Scale. Retrieved September 22, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Usability_Scale_(SUS)

Want to know more?

Click here to download SUS – A quick and dirty usability scale to read more about the System Usability Scale and see the questionnaire for yourself.


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