The theoretical foundation and validity of a component-based usability questionnaire

W.P. Brinkman, R. Haakma, D.G. Bouwhuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Although software engineers extensively use a component-based software engineering (CBSE) approach, existing usability questionnaires only support a holistic evaluation approach, which focuses on the usability of the system as a whole. Therefore, this paper discusses a component-specific questionnaire for measuring the perceived ease-of-use of individual interaction components. A theoretical framework is presented for this compositional evaluation approach, which builds on Taylor's layered protocol theory. The application and validity of the component-specific measure is evaluated by re-examining the results of four experiments. Here, participants were asked to use the questionnaire to evaluate a total of nine interaction components used in a mobile phone, a room thermostat, a web-enabled TV set and a calculator. The applicability of the questionnaire is discussed in the setting of a new usability study of an MP3 player. The findings suggest that at least part of the perceived usability of a product can be evaluated on a component-based level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-137
JournalBehaviour & Information Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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