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Determining What Individual SUS Scores Mean: Adding an Adjective Rating Scale

Aaron Bangor, Philip Kortum, and James Miller

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 4, Issue 3, May 2009, pp. 114-123

Abstract

The System Usability Scale (SUS) is an inexpensive, yet effective tool for assessing the usability of a product, including Web sites, cell phones, interactive voice response systems, TV applications, and more. It provides an easy-to-understand score from 0 (negative) to 100 (positive). While a 100-point scale is intuitive in many respects and allows for relative judgments, information describing how the numeric score translates into an absolute judgment of usability is not known. To help answer that question, a seven-point adjective-anchored Likert scale was added as an eleventh question to nearly 1,000 SUS surveys. Results show that the Likert scale scores correlate extremely well with the SUS scores (r=0.822). The addition of the adjective rating scale to the SUS may help practitioners interpret individual SUS scores and aid in explaining the results to non-human factors professionals.

Practitionerís Take Away

This research examined the addition of an adjective rating scale to the System Usability Scale (SUS) and found the following:

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Determining What Individual SUS Scores Mean: Adding an Adjective Rating Scale