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 Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers
20.07.2018 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore

nachricht Study suggests buried Internet infrastructure at risk as sea levels rise
18.07.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>