Understanding usability: investigating an integrated design environment and management system

Jason Chong Lee (Center for Human‐Computer Interaction and Department of Computer Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA Email: chonglee@vt.edu)
Shahtab Wahid (Center for Human‐Computer Interaction and Department of Computer Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA)
D. Scott McCrickard (Center for Human‐Computer Interaction and Department of Computer Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA)
C. M. Chewar (Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY, USA)
Ben Congleton (School of Information, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 20 December 2007

Abstract

Purpose

Decades of innovation in designing usable (and unusable) interfaces have resulted in a plethora of guidelines, usability methods, and other design tools. The purpose of this research is to develop ways for novice developers to effectively leverage and contribute to the large and growing body of usability knowledge and methods.

Design/methodology/approach

This work presents the first extensive usage evaluation of an integrated design environment and knowledge management system, LINK‐UP. Key to this effort is the central design record (CDR), a design representation meant to prevent breakdowns occurring between design and evaluation phases.

Findings

The case study results show that a design knowledge IDE centered on the CDR can help novices make connections between requirements data, design representations and evaluation data and better understand how to leverage that information to improve designs.

Research limitations/implications

Future efforts are focusing on exploring the utility of this approach for practitioners—especially agile developers.

Practical implications

A useful process and toolset for teaching usability design to novice developers and students.

Originality/value

The CDR makes designs coherent and understandable, thus supporting a principled, guided development process critical for student developers.

Keywords

Citation

Chong Lee, J., Wahid, S., McCrickard, D., Chewar, C. and Congleton, B. (2007), "Understanding usability: investigating an integrated design environment and management system", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 161-175. https://doi.org/10.1108/17415650780000326

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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