Advancing End User Development Through Metadesign
Maria Francesca Costabile (Università degli Studi di Bari, Italy), Daniela Fogli (Università degli Studi di Brescia, Italy), Rosa Lanzilotti (Università degli Studi di Bari, Italy), Piero Mussio (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy), Loredana Parasiliti Provenza (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy) and Antonio Piccinno (Università degli Studi di Bari, Italy)
Copyright: © 2008
End-user development means the active participation of end users in the software development process. In this perspective, tasks that are traditionally performed by professional software developers at design time are transferred to end users at use time. This creates a new challenge for software engineers: designing software systems that can be evolved by end users. Metadesign, a new design paradigm discussed in this chapter, is regarded as a possible answer to this challenge. In this line, we have developed a metadesign methodology, called Software Shaping Workshop methodology, that supports user work practice and allows experts in a domain to personalize and evolve their own software environments. We illustrate the Software Shaping Workshop methodology and describe its application to a project in the medical domain. The work proposes a new perspective on system personalization, distinguishing between customization and tailoring of software environments. The software environments are customized by the design team to the work context, culture, experience, and skills of the user communities; they are also tailorable by end users at runtime in order to adapt them to the specific work situation and users’ preferences and habits. The aim is to provide the physicians with software environments that are easy to use and adequate for their tasks, capable to improve their work practice and determine an increase in their productivity and performance.