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Usability is a fundamental principle of ergonomics and of Davis Associates' user-centred design approach.   
According to the International Standards Organisation (ISO), usability refers to: "...the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.”  (ISO 9241-11) 
In short, usability is the measure of how easy or difficult it is to accomplish a task.  Much of our work is aimed at optimising usability and we conduct usability testing to ensure this is achieved.  Read more about usability testing.
The Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA) has identified the following benefits from a user-centred approach:
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased sales and customer satisfaction
  • Decreased training and support costs
  • Reduced maintenance costs