Usability Integration in Agile Development Processes: A Practice-Oriented Best Practice Approach

  • 1 HK Business Solutions GmbH, Sulzbach/Saar, Germany
  • 2 Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering, Kaiserslautern, Germany
  • 3 YellowMap, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 4 CAS Software AG, Karlsruhe, Germany
Hartmut Schmitt
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  • Hartmut Schmitt is research project coordinator at HK Business Solutions GmbH (Sulzbach / Saar, Germany), a provider of business software and hardware solutions for SMEs. Since 2006 he has been working on research projects in the fields of human-computer interaction, usability, user experience, and requirements engineering, including project supervision for several BMBF-funded joint projects. At present, he is leading and participating in the research project “PQ4Agile – Product quality for agile software development”.
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, Dominik Magin
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  • Dominik Magin studied Computer Science at the University of Kaiserslautern with a focus on software engineering. Since 2013, he has been a researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE in Kaiserslautern, Germany. He is working in the area of user experience with a strong focus on the mobile domain. His particular interests are wearables and the conception of mobile applications as well as their respective development.
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, Andreas Maier
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  • Andreas Maier studied Computational Linguistics, Language Science and Technology, and Philosophy at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany. Since 2008, he has been working first as a scientific assistant, then as a researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE. His particular areas of interest are human-computer interaction, user experience and user requirements engineering, and multimodal and multimedia-based interaction. Regarding the latter, he is especially interested in the evocation of positive user emotions and is currently working on conceptual models of human-computer interaction and user experience.
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, Richard Wacker
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  • Richard Wacker studied Information Engineering and Management at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, and worked for 5 years at the Centre of Applied Legal Studies with a focus on data protection, data security, and semantic technologies. He was a project manager at Ontoprise GmbH and Volz Innovation GmbH. In July 2013, he joined YellowMap in the position of a research project manager and is now Head of Research, responsible for YellowMap’s national and European research activities and projects.
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and Josh Wang
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  • Josh Wang holds degrees in International Business Management from Konstanz University of Applied Sciences, Germany, and in Business Information Systems from Ferdinand Porsche University of Applied Sciences, Vienna, Austria. He gained experience in international project management, marketing & relationship management in various global enterprises, including Mercedes-Benz China, the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and SAP. Since 2009, he has worked for CAS Software AG in the Innovation & Business Design department.
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Abstract

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) increasingly rely on agile software development. However, the majority of established usability methods have been developed with traditional software engineering principles in mind. So, one might assume that these methods and tools might not be applicable to agile development projects. In this paper, a possible approach to systematically adapting traditional usability methods to application in agile projects is introduced and documented as best practices. These best practices can be quickly and dynamically employed by agile development team members and can thus contribute to higher quality of software development outputs. The approach described in this paper was developed in the context of a German research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and conducted by one research institute and three software-developing enterprises and will be evaluated throughout the further course of the project. For this purpose, a number of best practices have been adapted to the context of agile software development and described in detail in order to allow inexperienced software developers of small and medium-sized enterprises to successfully apply these best practices. As two examples of these best practices, we illustrate the best practices ‘Contextual Inquiry’ and ‘Template-Based UI Design’ in this paper.

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i-com - Journal of Interactive Media is devoted to human-computer interaction, media design, usability, engineering and systems evaluation, software ergonomics, cooperative systems, e-learning, mobile and ubiquitous systems, user-adaptive systems, agent development tools and methods for media in different application fields, barrier-free systems design, and the social aspects of information and communication technologies.

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