Experiences with Software Architecture Analysis of Usability

Experiences with Software Architecture Analysis of Usability

Eelke Folmer (University of Nevada - Reno, USA) and Jan Bosch (Intuit Inc. - Mountain View, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jitwe.2008100101
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Software engineers and human computer interaction engineers have come to the understanding that usability is not something that can be “added” to a software product during late stage, since to a certain extent it is determined and restricted by architecture design. Cost effectively developing a usable system must include developing an architecture, which supports usability. Because software engineers in industry lacked support for the early evaluation of usability, we defined a generalized four-step method for software architecture level usability analysis called SALUTA. In this article, we report on a number of experiences and problems we observed when performing architecture analysis of usability at three industrial case studies performed in the domain of Web-based enterprise systems. Suggestions or solutions are provided for solving or avoiding these problems so organizations facing similar problems may learn from our experiences.

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