A Usability Evaluation of the Obamacare Website

Abstract: The healthcare.gov website, popularly called the Obamacare website, was off to a rough start. Although infrastructure issues received a great deal of media attention, the site has had its fair share of interface design problems. Drawing on the usability guidelines on the government site of usability.gov, we developed a survey instrument that comprised 16 dimensions to form overall usability. Based on a survey of 374 citizens, we found that usability strongly predicted citizen satisfaction with the website and intention to use the website. Six out of the 16 dimensions of usability emerged as significant in driving overall usability perceptions. In addition to key theoretical implications for e-government and usability research, our work offers practical implications for the healthcare.gov website and e-government web applications in general.