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From the Handbook for quality in cultural Web sites Improving quality for citizens, paragraph 2.3.1:
The definition is that of the standard ISO 9241-11 "Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals - Guidance on usability" in which usability is defined as: "the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use." This definition is very similar to that already quoted in quality of software product [ISO/IEC 9126-1] and for the meaning of the terms therein, we can say that:
Effectiveness in the use of the product indicates the accuracy and completeness with which the user can attain the specified results.
Efficiency in the use of the product indicates use of resources in relation to accuracy and completeness with which the users achieve specified results.
Satisfaction indicates freedom from unease and obligations and a favourable tendency in the user towards the product.
Context of Use is that of the context of the user, the aim or task, the hardware resources and software used, the physical and social environment in which the product is used.
The 'product' is the Web site as it has previously been defined.
The essence of the ISO regulations (ISO/DIS 13407) Human centered design process for interactive systems in addition to the two mentioned above) is that planning of interfaces, interactive modes and the organization of Web contents, must be user-centered: No-one knows the competencies, culture, needs, limits, attitudes of users better than the users themselves. It is thus important to provide for involvement of the users in all stages of the planning, realization and running of a Web site.