Detección de problemas de usabilidad y sus líneas de soluciones: Propuesta instrumental para la medición de la usabilidad en los servicios en línea (Detecting Usability Problems and Offering Lines of Solutions: An Instrument' Proposal for Measuring Usability in Online Services)

Marcelo Garrido (, Claudio Lavín (, Nelson Rodriguez Peña (

2Universidad Diego Portales

This paper appears in: Revista IEEE América Latina

Publication Date: Jan. 2014
Volume: 12,   Issue: 1 
ISSN: 1548-0992

The growing offer of online public services aims to provide huge benefits to users in terms of time and facilities, and also to governments in terms of cost saving. However, the benefits that both users and providers could extract from the digitalization of transactions are commonly affected by the problems that citizens face while using the facilities. It is at this point where usability appears as a central variable. Although the usability of transactional services is a central variable, there are not clear methodological approaches for measuring the state of the services within Latin-American countries. In order to face this issue, we propose an instrument based upon the heuristic-evaluation technique for assessing the usability of online services in e-government websites. We evaluate the usability of 60 online services offered by the Chilean government in order to validate the instrument, and to show the scope of the instrument and the lines of intervention that such evaluation allows. Results showed three main usability problems of the online services: (1) the system does not provide control to users over their action, (2) the services are structured in a way that produces uncertainty, and (3) there is not guidance to users while they conduct the transactions in the website. We discuss the results appealing to the necessity of having rigorous methodologies for assessing the usability features of transactional services, and showing the main problems reported in the measurement conducted. This demonstrates the relevance of assessing usability in online services when analyzing the slow growing and lack of confidence that online services have among users.

Index Terms:
Online services,Methodology,Usability,Measurement,E-government   

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