Software Usability in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Germany: An Empirical Study

  • Florian Scheiber
  • Dominika Wruk
  • Achim Oberg
  • Johannes Britsch
  • Michael Woywode
  • Alexander Maedche
  • Felix Kahrau
  • Hendrik Meth
  • Dieter Wallach
  • Marcus Plach
Chapter
Part of the Management for Professionals book series (MANAGPROF)

Abstract

Usability has become a competitive factor in the software industry. Specifically, the software industry in the United States has recognized this important factor and successfully leverages it for achieving competitive advantage. Compared to this fast development in the US, it seems questionable whether this view is also widespread among small and medium sized software producing and client companies in Germany and whether they direct sufficient attention to usability. This article presents the results of an empirical study exploring the status quo of the importance, the knowledge and the actual use of usability concepts among small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany. Following an organizational field perspective, we investigate how interactions between actors in the software field influence the usability awareness as well as the knowledge and actual use of usability concepts. Based on the results of our study, we provide recommendations on how to increase awareness and maturity of software usability in SMEs in Germany.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florian Scheiber
    • 1
  • Dominika Wruk
    • 1
  • Achim Oberg
    • 1
  • Johannes Britsch
    • 2
  • Michael Woywode
    • 1
  • Alexander Maedche
    • 3
  • Felix Kahrau
    • 3
  • Hendrik Meth
    • 3
  • Dieter Wallach
    • 4
  • Marcus Plach
    • 5
  1. 1.Chair of SMEs and EntrepreneurshipUniversity of MannheimMannheimGermany
  2. 2.CAS Software AGKarlsruheGermany
  3. 3.Chair of Information Systems IVUniversity of MannheimMannheimGermany
  4. 4.University of Applied SciencesKaiserslauternGermany
  5. 5.ERGOSIGN GmbHSaarbrückenGermany

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