Exploring the role of usability in the software process: a study of Irish software SMEs
O'Connor, Rory (2009) Exploring the role of usability in the software process: a study of Irish software SMEs. In: EuroSPI 2009 - 16th European Software Process Improvement Conference, 2-4 September 2009, Madrid, Spain. ISBN 3-642-04132-9
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This paper explores the software processes and usability techniques used by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that develop web applications. The significance of this research is that it looks at development processes used by SMEs in order to assess to what degree usability is integrated into the process. This study seeks to gain an understanding into the level of awareness of usability within SMEs today and their commitment to usability in practice. The motivation for this research is to explore the current development processes used by SMEs in developing web applications and to understand how usability is represented in those processes. The background for this research is provided by the growth of the web application industry beyond informational web sites to more sophisticated applications delivering a broad range of functionality. This paper presents an analysis of the practices of several Irish SMEs that develop web applications through a series of case studies. With the focus on SMEs that develop web applications as Management Information Systems and not E-Commerce sites, informational sites, online communities or web portals. This study gathered data about the usability techniques practiced by these companies and their awareness of usability in the context of the software process in those SMEs. The contribution of this study is to further the understanding of the current role of usability within the software development processes of SMEs that develop web applications.
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