us·​abil·​i·​ty | \ ˌyü-zə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce usability (audio) \

Definition of usability

: the quality or state of being usable : ease of use When netbooks arrived a couple of years ago, they were so tiny, only spider monkeys would find them usable. But as they've inched up in size and usability, their sales have taken off.— David Pogue One of the other great problems of computer software is preoccupation with bells and whistles, rather than usability. Even software that began as easily usable can evolve over time into something so burdened with complicated (and trivial) features that it is a challenge to figure out how to do the simplest thing.— Thomas Sowell

Examples of usability in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The cabin has also received a subtle makeover, with most of this prioritized around improving usability. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "2021 Bentley Bentayga Gets Big Style and Content Upgrade," 30 June 2020 For 2021, both trailers receive an interior makeover that aims at improving usability and elevating the air of luxury. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, "2021 Airstream Flying Cloud, International Trailers Get Great New Interiors," 16 June 2020 From a usability standpoint, the signature addition to this Chromebook is the Google Assistant key, found on the bottom row of the backlit keyboard next to the CTRL key. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Google Pixelbook Go: The 5 major things you need to know," 15 Oct. 2019 User testing User testing is when companies pay people to test a site or app, soliciting thoughts on its usability and whether there are any bugs or errors. Whizy Kim,, "8 Ideas To Try If You’re Looking To Make Some Extra Money Online," 20 May 2020 Follow the company rules In their purest form, usability and security are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Ken Colburn, azcentral, "Working remotely can be a tech challenge: Here are some tips," 16 Mar. 2020 Gartner analyst Mike Fasciani, who follows the video conferencing market, tells me BlueJeans has excellent underlying technology, maybe the best, but hasn't spent as much time perfecting its usability and customer experience. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Can Verizon build a Zoom killer after acquiring its own video conferencing app?," 17 Apr. 2020 Current electronic health records have a number of usability issues. Andrew Muchmore, STAT, "Government rules led electronic health records astray. It’s time to reimagine them," 27 Mar. 2020 This is one of the fictitious scenarios presented to 55 physicians around the country as part of a study to look at the usability of electronic health records (EHRs). Cassandra Willyard, Scientific American, "Can AI Fix Electronic Medical Records?," 1 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'usability.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of usability

1842, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of usability was in 1842

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Last Updated

3 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Usability.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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Nglish: Translation of usability for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of usability for Arabic Speakers

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