Software design: communication between human factors engineers and software developers
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As computers pervade aspects of daily life, users demand software that is easy to use. It has been suggested that adding human factors engineers (HFEs) to software development teams would help software development companies meet these user demands. However, there are qualitative data which suggest that software developers (80s) and HFEs do not communicate well with each other. It is believed that this lack of communication has inhibited the use of HFEs on software development teams. It is further believed that this lack of communication is due in part to the differences in the frames of reference of HFEs and 50s. Thus, the objectives of this thesis are: 1. To develop an instrument which can be used to determine the differences in the frames of reference of HFEs and 80s. 2. To test the instrument. Three questionnaires were developed to probe the differences in the frames of reference of HFEs and 80s. The first, a background questionnaire, probed for information concerning software development experience and knowledge of specific software industry terms. The second was a software development activities questionnaire which was used to ascertain the importance of participation of certain professionals in software development activities. Finally, the usability information questionnaire was used to determine what type of supporting information would be necessary for a design change at certain points in the development of the product. Participants (30 HFEs and 30 80s) completed the questionnaires. It was found that HFEs and 80s do differ in their frames of reference. It was also found that some of these differences could cause a lack of communication between HFEs and 50s. It is suggested that software companies provide interdisciplinary training for their employees to help reduce these differences and to improve communication.
- Masters Theses