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

Its system requirements are aligned with a smartphone’s capabilities, its app library is made to fit a smartphone’s screen, and all of its core usability features are built for a smartphone’s vertical orientation. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Google keeps failing to understand tablets," 29 Nov. 2018 Web design usability researchers also have used eye gaze to study online reading patterns, and several car manufacturers have installed eye-tracking cameras as a safety feature. Anne Quito, Quartz, "Comcast’s new remote control feature allows viewers to change the channel with their eyes," 17 June 2019 The certification process should include extensive usability testing, which is currently lacking. Sharona Hoffman, The Conversation, "Physician burnout: Why legal and regulatory systems may need to step in," 9 July 2019 The study may serve researchers who are investigating the development and usability of robotic limbs. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Study Shows There Are Surprising Benefits to Having an Extra Finger," 14 June 2019 Hulu took a lot of criticism for its menus and navigation, which favored pretty visuals over usability and convenience. Chris Welch, The Verge, "The Verge Cord Cutter’s Guide: hardware, software, and services," 20 Dec. 2018 Researchers at the University of Texas have estimated that increasing data usability by 10% would boost annual revenue for Fortune 1000 companies by more than $2 billion. Angus Loten, WSJ, "AI Efforts at Large Companies May Be Hindered by Poor Quality Data," 4 Mar. 2019 The 2016 law also said health-information-technology vendors such as electronic-medical-record companies couldn’t block others from sharing information related to their products’ usability and security, among other topics. Anna Wilde Mathews, WSJ, "New Rules Could Ease Patients’ Access to Their Own Health Records," 11 Feb. 2019 Each suite is ranked on three criteria: protection, performance, and usability, earning up to 6 points in each category. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Recent antivirus tests are bad news for paid security suites," 30 Jan. 2019

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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Statistics for usability

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for usability

The first known use of usability was in 1842

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Nglish: Translation of usability for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of usability for Arabic Speakers

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