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Supporting Usability in Product Line Architectures
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. (Embedded Systems Software Engineering)
Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA.
Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA.
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA.
2009 (English)In: Software Product Lines Conference, SPLC 2009, San Francisco, USA, 2009Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper addresses the problem of supporting usability in the early stages of a product line architecture design. The product line used as an example is intended to support a variety of different products each with a radically different user interface. The development cycles for new products varies between three years and five years and usability is valued as an important quality attribute for each product in the line.

Traditionally, usability is achieved in a product by designing according to specific usability guidelines, and then performing user tests. User interface design can be performed separately from software architecture design and prototyping, but user tests cannot be performed before detailed UI design and prototyping. If the user tests discover usability problems leading to required architectural changes, the company would not know about this until two years after the architecture design was complete. This problem was addressed by identifying a collection of 19 well known usability scenarios that require architectural support. In our example, the stakeholders for the product line prioritized three of these scenarios as key product-line scenarios for improving usability. For each of these three chosen product-line scenarios we developed an architectural responsibility pattern that provided support for the scenario. The responsibilities are expressed in terms of architectural requirements with implementation details and rationales. The responsibilities were embodied in a web based tool for the architects.

The two architects for the product line developed a preliminary design and then reviewed their design against the responsibilities supporting the scenarios. The process of review took a day and the architects conservatively estimated that it saved them five weeks of effort later in the project.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-6666OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-6666DiVA: diva2:232300
Available from: 2009-08-21 Created: 2009-08-21 Last updated: 2009-08-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Exploring Sustainable Industrial Software System Development: within the Software Architecture Environment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring Sustainable Industrial Software System Development: within the Software Architecture Environment
2009 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis describes how sustainable development definitions can be transposed to the software architecture environment for the industrial software system domain. In a case study, sustainable development concerns from three companies are investigated for their influence on the dimensions of sustainable development: economical, environmental, and social sustainability. Classifying the case study’s concerns, in the thesis’s Software Engineering taxonomy, shows that the software development concerns are in majority and the software architecture concerns surprisingly few. The economical sustainability concerns dominate followed by social sustainability concerns, including both concerns successfully met and concerns to be met.

Sustainable industrial software system development is in the thesis defined as: “Sustainable industrial software system development meets current stakeholders’ needs without compromising the software development organization’s ability to meet the needs of future stakeholders”. Understanding current and future stakeholders concerns is necessary for the formulation of sustainability goals and metrics. Clarifying the interrelationships among stakeholders’ concerns’ impact on business goals and software qualities, in the thesis’s Influencing Factors method, proves to help stakeholders understand their future needs.

Trust is found to be critical for sustainable development. For the establishing of trust between system and system users, the usability quality is vital. To implement usability support in the architecture in the early design phase, reusable architectural responsibilities are created. The reusable architectural responsibilities are integrated into an experience factory and used by the product line system architects, resulting in a return of investment of 25:2.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalens högskola, 2009
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 107
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-6672 (URN)978-91-86135-36-2 (ISBN)
Presentation
2009-10-15, Kappa, Mälardalens Högskola, Västerås, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Pasas- Analyzing the enterprise-, system-, and software architecture impact of stakeholders’ concerns for profitable industrial software systems
Available from: 2009-08-21 Created: 2009-08-21 Last updated: 2009-11-10Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • Other locale
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Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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