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Chapter 1. Response Time: Eight Seconds,... > Speed: A Key Component of Usability

Speed: A Key Component of Usability

Speed is a key component of usability, which helps determine system acceptability.[2] How acceptable a system is determines its adoption rate. With over half of the IT projects deployed in the U.S. abandoned or underutilized,[3] it is important to make systems and sites (many of which are big IT projects themselves) that people actually use.

[2] Brian Shackel, “Usability—context, framework, definition, design, and evaluation,” in Human Factors for Informatics Usability, ed. Brian Shackel and Simon Richardson (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 21–37.

[3] Thomas K. Landauer, The Trouble with Computers: Usefulness, Usability, and Productivity (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995). “…sadly, most reengineering efforts fail.” A sobering book on computers and productivity.

Shackel's Acceptability Paradigm

Part of our psyche, it seems, is devoted to understanding whether a particular system will have a big enough payoff to warrant the necessary expenditure of our time and energy. Brian Shackel characterized this paradigm as “system acceptability,” which is a tradeoff between three dimensions:


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