MDD tools are very useful to draw conceptual models and to automate code generation. Even though this would bring many benefits, wide adoption of MDD tools is not yet a reality. Various research activities are being undertaken to find why and to provide the required solutions. However, insufficient research has been done on a key factor for the acceptance of MDD tools: usability. With the help of end-users, this paper presents a framework to evaluate the usability of MDD tools. The framework will be used as a basis for a family of experiments to get clear insights into the barriers to usability that prevent MDD tools from being widely adopted in industry. To illustrate the applicability of our framework, we instantiated it for performing a usability evaluation of a tool named INTEGRANOVA. Furthermore, we compared the outcome of the study with another usability evaluation technique based on ergonomic criteria.