A study on the relationship between usability of guis and power consumption of a pc: The case of phrs

José A. García-Berná, Sofia Ouhbi, José L. Fernández-Alemán, Juan M.Carrillo de Gea, Joaquín Nicolás, Begoña Moros, Ambrosio Toval

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Usability is key to achieve quality in software products. The client applications with a high score in usability might impact on the power consumption when they are run in a PC. For this reason, energy savings turn to be critical in green software systems. In this paper the relationship between the usability evaluations of the GUIs and the power consumption measurements of the main components of a PC were analysed. A set of 5 web-based personal health records (PHRs) were selected as a case study. The usability assessment was performed by an expert, employing the 14 principles of design by Alan Dix as heuristics. They were scored on a Likert scale after performing a collection of common tasks in the PHRs. At the same time, an equipment to measure the energy consumption of hard disk drive, graphics card, processor, monitor and power supply was used. Spearman’s index was studied for the correlations between the usability assessments and the power consumption measurements. As a results, some weak relationships were found. A total of 5 usability heuristics were observed to may influence energy consumption when they were considered in the implementation of the PHRs. These heuristics were the following ones: consistency, task migratability, observability, recoverability and responsiveness. Based on the results, the usability principles of design cannot always be related to lower energy consumption. Future research should focus on the tradeoffs between usability and power consumption of client applications when they are used in a computer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1385
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2 2021


  • Energy efficiency
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Personal health records
  • Usability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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