The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) has developed a suite of powerful tools for scientists to ask questions that are central to their own research. It also affords them access to large scale collections of data and biospecimens from families affected with autism across the nation. Although this is a very promising development in the science of autism, it is well known that even the best conceived systems present difficulties for end-user populations. It is increasingly recognized that the usability and learnability of a system is a critical determinant of both the acceptance of a technology and its efficacy as a productive tool. The process of continual or iterative design informed by usability evaluation is becoming a standard practice in the healthcare arena as well as in other sectors. The team at Columbia University has developed a usability evaluation framework with a particular focus on the skills and knowledge required to accomplish tasks in across a range of health related domains. Our ultimate goal is to discover and characterize the ways in which the suite of SFARI tools can be used productively to advance the science of autism. Towards this objective, we propose to conduct a series of evaluation studies with the SFARI suite of tools. The methods include expert task analysis that involves breaking a task into steps, characterizing the complexity and identifying potential problems. We also plan to conduct usability testing evaluations with a sample of users of the SFARI tools including investigators and database managers. The subjects will be presented with a series of tasks of varying levels of complexity. This will help us identify aspects of the system that users find to be problematic. It will also contribute to the development of design concepts for future generations of the SFARI system.