Empowering everyone to evaluate usability can improve the digital workplace. Here is how you take the first step with userpoll.io.

Bad software makes a bad digital workplace

Organizations that have been around for a few years typically have a large number of legacy systems. Ages ago, when they were created, it is likely that no one cared about their usability or design. Users were used to obeying software and taking a course in order to be able to file a report. This is particularly true for the public sector where competition between vendors is low and barriers for newcomers is high. We need to fix it to make our organizations a better place to work.

The situation needs to be fixed

With bad internal systems you are contributing to a poor digital work environment. And the digital work environment is becoming a larger and more important part of the overall work environment. Who wants to work at a place where a bureaucratic process is enforced via bad software?

How do you get started in an organization where you have many internal systems? Which one do you look at first? The task seems overwhelming as you typically can’t have consultants or internal UX-staff look at everything. If you are lucky you have managers who care about usability, but how can they proceed in the areas they are responsible for?

Making the first step simple

Usability and design is a field of study with a high degree of complexity. It is not likely you will become a usability expert over the weekend. Getting the help of a user experience professional can cost a lot of money.

In order to take the first step we need something that can be used by non-professionals to get a first idea of the usability of a product. One method is the System Usability Scale (SUS). SUS was created by John Brooke in 1986 and has been proven to be a reliable indicator of overall usability of a product. It is a simple questionnaire with ten questions and a scoring model that will give you a number between 0 and 100. Roughly speaking, a score lower than 68 means you have a problem.

The only problem with SUS is that you need to create a questionnaire, and manually calculate the score. This takes time and calculating the score in the wrong way will lead to an unusable result.

System Usability Scale Result Example. A score of 66 means you have a problem.

Userpoll.io helps you run SUS surveys

To lower the barrier I created a simple tool that will help you run a System Usability Scale Survey and calculate the result. For lack of imagination (and domain availability) I called it userpoll.io.

If you are a manager or a user plagued by sub-par software you can now invite colleagues to score and evaluate usability in under a minute. With this tool I hope to contribute to the first step of improving usability in your workplace.

It is not for profit so there will be no advertising. If think it is valuable and want to help out, please let your non-ux friends know about it.