Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Embedding usability in mid-market businesses

19.04.2013
Competence center supports SMEs in user-centered software design

Intuitive operation is a key factor in the success of software development projects. Fraunhofer IAO is currently conducting a project entitled »Usability Inside« to investigate how middle market software manufacturers can systematically involve future users in their product design process right from the conceptual design phase.

Competition between small and mid-sized software manufacturers is fierce and shows no sign of diminishing, yet in most cases the functionality of the products on offer is not the determining factor in whether they achieve commercial success. Increasingly, the most important factor and key selling point in this highly competitive market is intuitive user-friendliness. This is problematic for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), many of which make little or sporadic use of the criteria, approaches and methods of usability engineering.

Fraunhofer IAO has many years of project experience and expertise in this field and understands the pitfalls that can lead to poor user acceptance of devices and software. Usability experts from the institute‘s Interaction Lab and Usability Lab use scientific methods to determine which design criteria are most crucial in achieving user acceptance and how these can be systematically incorporated in the product design process. This knowledge has been used as the basis for the Usability Inside project. The aim of the project is to help middle-market manufacturers of enterprise software and their customers to systematically evaluate and implement usability issues in their product creation and selection processes.

In order to firmly embed the topic of usability in both software development and software selection processes, the Usability Inside project proceeds through four stages: The first step is to foster awareness of the topic in the SMEs and provide key information. In the second stage, the project partners develop specific methods and procedures. This is followed by a knowhow transfer, and finally the SMEs are encouraged to become self-sufficient by using materials provided online to assist with different methods and real-life tasks.

At the heart of the project is the »Usability in SMEs« competence center, which acts as a central point of reference and network platform for issues relating to the usability of enterprise software applications in middle-market businesses. As well as organizing industry events, the competence center also offers a portfolio of services specially tailored to the needs of SMEs which are designed to promote successful usability engineering.

In addition to Fraunhofer IAO and its cooperation partner the Institute for Human Factors and Technology Management IAT, the project consortium also includes the company CAS Software AG and the German Federal Association of IT SMEs (Bundesverband IT-Mittelstand e.V.). Usability Inside forms part of the »Digital SMEs« funding initiative launched by the German federal ministry of economics and technology (BMWi) to drive forward the development and broad-based utilization of ICT applications in SMEs and the skilled trades sector.

Contact
Daniel Ziegler
Fraunhofer IAO, Human-Computer Interaction
Phone +49 711 970-2324
daniel.ziegler@iao.fraunhofer.de

Juliane Segedi | Fraunhofer-Institut
Further information:
http://www.usability-inside.net
http://www.iao.fraunhofer.de

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Smarter robot vacuum cleaners for automated office cleaning
15.08.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

nachricht Researchers 3-D print first truly microfluidic 'lab on a chipl devices
15.08.2017 | Brigham Young University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>