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A usability perspective on requirements engineering: from methodology to product development
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, MDALAB - Human Computer Interfaces. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2001 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Usability is one of the most important aspects of software. A multitude of methods and techniques intended to support the development of usable systems has been provided, but the impact on industrial software development has been limited. One of the reasons for this limited success is the gap between traditional academic theory generation and commercial practice. Another reason is the gap between usability engineering and established requirements engineering practice. This thesis is based on empirical research and puts a usability focus on three important aspects of requirements engineering: elicitation, specification and release planning.

There are two main themes of investigation. The first is concerned with the development and introduction of a usability-oriented method for elicitation and specification of requirements, with an explicit focus on utilizing the skills of technical communicators. This longitudinal, qualitative study, performed in an industrial setting in the first half of the nineties, provides ample evidence in favor of a closer collaboration between technical communicators and system developers. It also provides support for the benefits of a task-oriented approach to requirements elicitation. The results are also reflected upon in a retrospective paper, and the experiences point in the direction of an increased focus on the specification part, in order to bridge the gap between usability engineering and established requirements management practice.

The second represents a usability-oriented approach to understanding and supporting release planning in software product development. Release planning is an increasingly important part of requirements engineering, and it is complicated by intricate dependencies between requirements. A survey performed at five different companies gave an understanding of the nature and frequency of these interdependencies. This knowledge was then turned into the design and implementation of a support tool, with the purpose of provoking a deeper understanding of the release planning task. This was done through a series of cooperative evaluation sessions with release planning experts. The results indicate that, although the tool was considered useful by the experts, the initial understanding of the task was overly simplistic. As a result, a number of design implications are proposed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2001. , 94 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 726
Keyword [en]
Industrial software development, system development, usability, usability-oriented method, requirements, usability-oriented approach, product development
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-4976ISBN: 91-7373-212-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-4976DiVA: diva2:20848
Public defence
2001-12-19, Visionen, Hus B, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Supervisors
Note
On the day of the public defence the status of article VI was: Submitted.Available from: 2002-01-24 Created: 2002-01-24 Last updated: 2012-01-24Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Technical Communicators and System Developers Collaborating in Usability-Oriented Systems Development: Case Study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Technical Communicators and System Developers Collaborating in Usability-Oriented Systems Development: Case Study
1994 (English)In: In Proc. 12th ACM Annual International Conference on Systems Documentation (SIGDOC'94), 1994, 200-207 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13478 (URN)
Available from: 2002-01-24 Created: 2002-01-24 Last updated: 2009-02-09
2. A Usability-Oriented Approach to Requirements Engineering
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Usability-Oriented Approach to Requirements Engineering
1996 (English)In: In Proc. 2nd IEEE International Conference on Requirements Engineering (ICRE´96), 145-152 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13479 (URN)
Available from: 2002-01-24 Created: 2002-01-24
3. Dissemination of Usability: The Failure of a Success Story
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dissemination of Usability: The Failure of a Success Story
2000 (English)In: ACM interactions, Vol. 8, no 1, 31–41- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13480 (URN)
Available from: 2002-01-24 Created: 2002-01-24
4. Requirements Lifecycle Management and Release Planning in Market-Driven Requirements Engineering Processes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Requirements Lifecycle Management and Release Planning in Market-Driven Requirements Engineering Processes
2000 (English)In: Proc. IEEE Int. Workshop on the Requirements Engineering Process. In Proc. 11th Int. Conf. on Data-base and Expert Systems Application (DEXA2000), IEEE , 2000, 961-965 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2000
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13481 (URN)10.1109/DEXA.2000.875142 (DOI)0-7695-0680-1 (ISBN)
Conference
11th International Workshop on Database and Expert Systems Applications, 4-8 September 2000, London, UK
Available from: 2002-01-24 Created: 2002-01-24 Last updated: 2015-03-16
5. An Industrial Survey of Requirements Interdependencies in Software Product Release Planning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An Industrial Survey of Requirements Interdependencies in Software Product Release Planning
Show others...
2001 (English)In: In Proc. Fifth IEEE Int. Symposium on Requirements Engineering (RE'01), IEEE , 2001, 84-91 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The task of finding an optimal selection of requirements for the next release of a software system is difficult as requirements may depend on each other in complex ways. The paper presents the results from an in-depth study of the interdependencies within 5 distinct sets of requirements, each including 20 high-priority requirements of 5 distinct products from 5 different companies. The results show that: (1) roughly 20% of the requirements are responsible for 75% of the interdependencies; (2) only a few requirements are singular; (3) customer-specific bespoke development tend to include more functionality- related dependencies whereas market-driven product development have an emphasis on value-related dependencies. Several strategies for reducing the effort needed for identifying and managing interdependencies are outlined. A technique for visualization of interdependencies with the aim of supporting release planning is also discussed. The complexity of requirements interdependency analysis is studied in relation to metrics of requirements coupling. Finally, a number of issues for further research are identified

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2001
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13482 (URN)10.1109/ISRE.2001.948547 (DOI)0-7695-1125-2 (ISBN)
Conference
Fifth IEEE International Symposium on Requirements Engineering, 27-31 August 2001, Toronto, Canada
Available from: 2002-01-24 Created: 2002-01-24 Last updated: 2015-05-06
6. Release Planning in Market-Driven Software Product Development: Provoking an Understanding
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Release Planning in Market-Driven Software Product Development: Provoking an Understanding
2002 (English)In: Requirements Engineering, ISSN 0947-3602, Vol. 7, no 3, 139-151 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In market-driven software development, release planning is one of the most critical tasks. Selecting a subset of requirements for realisation in a certain release is as complex as it is important for the success of a software product. Despite this, the literature provides little information on how release planning is done in practice. We designed, implemented and evaluated a support tool for release planning as a means for provoking a rich understanding of the task of release planning. The tool utilises a selection algorithm which, based on value, resource estimate and interdependencies, presents a number of valid and good release suggestions. The initial attempt at supporting release planning proved to be based on an overly simplistic and structuralistic view. The results provide ample evidence that the task could be characterised as a wicked problem, which in turn has several implications for the support needed. Although the provotype could indeed support the planner, in its current version it has several serious shortcomings related to the degree of interactivity, underlying models, presentation of information and general appearance. A rich description of the task of release planning is provided. Based on these findings, a list of design implications is proposed, which is intended to guide the future design of a support tool for release planning.  

Keyword
Pragmatic algorithm, Provotype, Release planning, Requirements coupling, Requirements interdependencies, Wicked problem
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13483 (URN)10.1007/s007660200010 (DOI)
Available from: 2002-01-24 Created: 2002-01-24

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Carlshamre, Pär

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