Impact of Usability on Software Requirements and Design

  • Natalia Juristo
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5413)


Like any other quality attribute, usability imposes specific constraints on software components. We have empirically corroborated that software design and usability are related. Therefore usability features impacting design need to be considered from a functional viewpoint at requirements stage. But discovering and documenting usability features is likely to be beyond the usability knowledge of most requirements engineers, developers and users. We propose an approach based on developing specific guidelines that capitalize upon key elements recurrently intervening in the usability features elicitation and specification. Developers can use these guidelines to ask the appropriate questions and capture usability requirements information. This practice should lead to build software with higher usability.


SE-Usability gap Usability requirements Usability Impact 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Seffah, A., Metzker, E.: The Obstacles and Myths of Usability and Software Engineering. Communications of the ACM 47(12), 71–76 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bias, R.G., Mayhew, D.J.: Cost-Justifying Usability. An Update for the Internet Age. Elsevier, Amsterdam (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    IBM. Cost Justifying Ease of Use (2005),
  4. 4.
    Thibodeau, P.: Users Begin to Demand Software Usability Tests. ComputerWorld (2002),,10801,76154,00.html
  5. 5.
    Trenner, L., Bawa, J.: The Politics of Usability. Springer, London (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Battey, J.: IBM’s redesign results in a kinder, simpler web site (1999),
  7. 7.
    Griffith, J.: Online transactions rise after bank redesigns for usability. The Business Journal (2002),
  8. 8.
    Donahue, G.M.: Usability and the Bottom Line. IEEE Software 16(1), 31–37 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Black, J.: Usability is next to profitability. BusinessWeek (2002),
  10. 10.
    Holzinger, A.: Usability Engineering Methods for Software Developers. Communications of the ACM 48(1), 71–74 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Milewski, A.E.: Software Engineers and HCI Practitioners Learning to Work Together: A Preliminary Look at Expectations. In: 17th Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training, pp. 45–49. IEEE Computer Society, Washington (2004)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Barbacci, M., Ellison, R., Lattanze, A., Stafford, J.A., Weinstock, C.B.: Quality Attribute Workshop, 3rd edn. CMU/SEI-2003-TR-016, Software Engineering Institute, CMU (2003)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    IEEE Std 1061: Standard for Software Quality Metrics Methodology (1998) Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    ISO/IEC 9126: Information Technology - Software quality characteristics and metrics (1991) Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Boehm, B., et al.: Characteristics of Software Quality. North Holland, New York (1978)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Nielsen, J.: Usability Engineering. AP Professional, Boston (1993)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    ISO 9241-11, 98: Ergonomic Requirements for Office work with Visual Display Terminals. Part 11: Guidance on Usability (1998)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    ISO/IEC ISO14598-1, 99: Software Product Evaluation: General Overview (1999)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mayhew, D.J.: The Usability Engineering Lifecycle. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    ISO 18529, 00: Human-Centered Lifecyle Process Descriptions (2000)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ferre, X., Juristo, N., Moreno, A.: Integration of HCI Practices into Software Engineering Development Processes: Pending Issues. In: Ghaoui, C. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, pp. 422–428. Idea Group Inc. (2006)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Tidwell, J.: Designing Interfaces. Patterns for Effective Interaction Design. O’Reilliy, USA (2005)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Juristo, N., Moreno, A., Sánchez, M.: Guidelines for Eliciting Usability Functionalities. IEEE Transactions on SE (2007)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Juristo, N., Moreno, A., Sánchez, M.: Analysing the impact of usability on software design. Journal of System and Software 80(9) (September 2007)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (2004),
  26. 26.
    Kovitz, B.: Ambiguity and What to Do about It. In: IEEE Joint International Conference on Requirements Engineering (2002)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Benson, C., Elman, A., Nickell, S., Robertson, C.: GNOME Human Interface Guidelines,
  28. 28.
    Chirstel, M.G., Kang, K.C.: Issues in Requirements Elicitation. Technical Report CMU/SEI-92-TR-012, Software Engineering Institute, CMU (1992)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Ebert, C., Man, J.D.: Requirements Uncertainty: Influencing Factors and Concrete Improvements. In: International Conference on Software Engineering, pp. 553–560 (2005)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Lauesen, S.: Communication Gaps in a Tender Process. Requirements Engineering 10(4), 247–261 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    ISO Std 13407: Human-Centred Design Processes for Interactive Systems (1999) Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Brighton. Usability Pattern Collection (2003),
  33. 33.
    Welie, M.: The Amsterdam Collection of Patterns in User Interface Design,
  34. 34.
    Tidwell, T.: The Case for HCI Design Patterns,
  35. 35.
    Coram, T., Lee, L.: Experiences: A Pattern Language for User Interface Design (1996),
  36. 36.
    Laasko, S.A.: User Interface Designing Patterns (2003),

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalia Juristo
    • 1
  1. 1.Facultad de InformáticaUniversidad Politécnica de MadridBoadilla del MonteSpain

Personalised recommendations