Total Control of User Experience in Software Development – a Software Engineering Dream?

Topics: Software engineering, ISO 9126, Usability Pages: 11 (3522 words) Published: June 21, 2007
Total control of User Experience in Software Development – a Software Engineering dream? Joerg Doerr
Fraunhofer IESE
Fraunhofer Platz 1
Joerg.Doerr@iese.fraunhofer.deDaniel Kerkow
Fraunhofer IESE
Fraunhofer Platz 1

In this paper we present a preliminary version of a software engineering approach to gain control over the User Experience (UX) during development time. We show results of an exploratory study with 59 subjects, discovering correlations between quality attributes as introduced in ISO9126 and our construct of UX, which is derived from the construct of Quality in Use as described in ISO9126. Author Keywords

Position paper, User Experience; ISO9126/25000; Software Quality; Nonfunctional requirements, Quality in Use ACM Classification Keywords
H5.m. Information interfaces and presentation (e.g., HCI): Miscellaneous. INTRODUCTION
In this paper we present a preliminary version of a software engineering approach to gain control over the User Experience (UX) during development time. We define the construct of UX in terms of a quality goal of a product, which manifests itself during the usage of the product. In ISO9126, as well as in the newer version the ISO 25000, this kind of quality is referred to as Quality in Use (QiU). We claim UX to be closely related to User Perceived QiU. Software engineering aims to make the quality of software systems predictable in early phases of development and repeatable during the usage of these systems. Since we consider UX as a set of quality characteristics, these characteristics should be on the one hand measurable and on the other hand controllable during development time. ISO9126 [5] and [8] state that software quality can be measured and described via 1. Static measures of the software (internal quality), 2. behavior of code when executed (external quality) and 3. in use (quality in use). Basically, QiU- characteristics can not directly be manipulated during development; developers have to measure and manipulate them indirectly via the internal and external quality (I&EQ) characteristics of the objects available during development. I&EQ and QiU or UX in software and system development are heavily intertwined. We experience that even though standards like ISO 9126 seem to involve both views in one standard, there is no simple relationship between these two aspects. UX can only be constructed into software and systems, if basic non-functional requirements (NFRs) that are expressed over the I&EQ attributes are measurably specified. The relationship between NFRs and UX, or in other words, the means to reach a desired UX by implementing NFRs remains unknown. In Section 1 we present our definition of the UX construct, closely related to the QiU-model suggested in ISO9126 and 25000. In prior publications [1,2,3] we have presented an approach that allows to master the measurable expression of NFRs on the I&EQ of software development artifacts. We will shortly present the concepts of our method in Section 2. In Fig 2 we present an example of the quality models suggested in ISO9126. We want to discuss some related terms, such as dependencies, Quality attributes, and Non-functional requirements. We will discuss first hypotheses about probable and improbable relationships and present a first exploration of a dataset gained with 59 users of two webbased software systems in Section 3 and raise the question, whether such relationships can ever be generalized for all software products, or at least be explored for specific domains. Finally in Section 4 we claim the position that UX can be mastered by construction (at least to some extent) using systematic methods, exploring the relationships among quality characteristics and capturing them in experience based quality models. UX = QIU: A DEFINITION

In our understanding, UX is the perceived quality of a product that is being used within a sociotechnical environment. A similar concept can...

References: 1. Kerkow, D., Doerr, J., Paech, B., Olsson, T., Koenig, T., "Elicitation and Documentation of Non-functional Requirements for Sociotechnical Systems" in José Luis Maté, Andrés Silva, "Requirements Engineering for Sociotechnical Systems", Idea Group, Inc., 2004
2. Doerr, J., Kerkow, D., von Knethen, A., Paech, B., „Eliciting Efficiency Requirements with Use Cases", 9th International Workshop on Requirments Engineering – Foundation for Software Quality, Workshop held at CaiSE '03, June 2003, pp. 23-32.
3. Kerkow, D., Kohler, K., Doerr, J., "Usability and Other Quality Aspects Derived from Use Cases" Performance by Design. Proceedings of forUSE 2003, Second International Conference on Usage-Centered
(2003), pp. 135-154.
4. Chung, L., Nixon, B.A., Yu, E., Mylopoulos, J.,"NFR in Software Engineering", Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000
5. ISO/IEC 9126:2001(E), "Software Engineering - Product Quality - Part 1-4, 2001
6. Davis, F.D. (1989) "Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use, and User Acceptance of Information Technology" MIS Quarterly 13(3), pp. 319-340.
7. Lee Y., Kozar K.A., and Larsen K. R. T., (2003), "The Technology Acceptance Model: Past, Present, and Future". Communications of the Association for Information Systems (Volume 12, Article 50) 752-780
8. Bevan, N. (1999). Quality in use: Meeting user needs for quality. Journal of Systems and Software 49(1): 89-96.
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