The last decade has seen the emergence of a new field in Human Factors and User Centred Design – the usability of digital information or data. Previously the focus of usability research had predominantly been software and websites, but in many domains human-computer interactions are also dependent on the usability of the data behind the software. This digital information is often created independently of the systems used to manipulate it and can be accessed via a range of software solutions.The formof this underlying data can have a huge impact on the interaction itself, but usability is seldom considered when this digital information is designed and developed. This paper will introduce some of the key issues in this area that will be further explored during the workshop. In particular, the concept of ‘interface independent usability’ is introduced, and the need for a distinct approach to the usability of data, as opposed to the conventional analysis of interface usability, is presented.