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 New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions
12.12.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht NIST's antenna evaluation method could help boost 5G network capacity and cut costs
11.12.2018 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>