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Useware engineering: a methodology for the development of user‐friendly interfaces

Detlef Zuehlke (University of Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany)
Nancy Thiels (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, Kaiserslautern, Germany)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 7 March 2008

Downloads
1029

Abstract

Purpose

The development time for user interfaces is drastically reduced by today's shorter product life cycles. Generally, at the end of the development phase, there is not enough time or money left to enhance the usability of software. After the user interface has been developed, the users are left alone to handle any problems with the interface. Systematic development using engineering processes can help to overcome these usability problems. Engineering processes identify and consider clearly defined requirements during the development phase. This results in more usable products and a growing recognition of the importance of engineering processes. This article aims to introduce a structured Useware engineering process that increases the effectiveness and efficiency of user interface development.

Design/methodology/approach

This article introduces a structured Useware engineering process, the application of which enhances user orientation which leads to higher acceptance and more practical user interfaces.

Findings

The article finds that the current process is supported by various expert development tools for the production of user interfaces; these tools ensure a systematic and continuous data transferability from one phase to the next. The process has already provided remarkable results in the area of task orientation and usability within several different industrial sectors, e.g. medicine, manufacturing industry and process engineering. Further possibilities to apply this process are software for online catolog planning or lending and return machines.

Originality/value

This article introduces a structured engineering process that increases the effectiveness and efficiency of user interface development which has the possibility of use in online catolog planning or lending and return machines.

Keywords

Citation

Zuehlke, D. and Thiels, N. (2008), "Useware engineering: a methodology for the development of user‐friendly interfaces", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 126-140. https://doi.org/10.1108/07378830810857852

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited