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[usage-centered] Introduction

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  • jrobbins@ics.uci.edu
    Hi everyone, I am a graduate student working on finishing my Ph.D. at University of California, Irvine. My advisor is Prof. David Redmiles, who some of you in
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 21, 1999
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      Hi everyone,

      I am a graduate student working on finishing my Ph.D. at University of
      California, Irvine. My advisor is Prof. David Redmiles, who some of you
      in the CHI community may know.

      My dissertation topic is user interface features for CASE (computer
      aided software engineering) tools. Specifically, I have built a CASE tool
      that uses the UML notation and has about a dozen special features intended
      to support the cognitive needs of software designers. Here "software designers" are people who design class hierachies not UIs, but I would like
      to change that. You can find out more at http://www.ArgoUML.com/

      I got interested in "usage-centered design" when I attended Larry's talk at
      CHI'99. Previously, I was interested in a related topic because of some
      work I did with another UCI student, David Hilbert, on "expectation driven
      event monitoring" which seeks to define and confirm expectations about how
      users use software. I was drawn to UC-D because I have a very practical
      bent and I am always looking for ways to bring research ideas into wider use.

      One idea that I am very excited about is the possibility of tool support for
      the models described in Larry's book, Software For Use. My ArgoUML tool is
      a free, open-source UML tool that (I hope) is very extensible. So, in the
      coming months (after I finish writing my dissertation) I would like to build
      a significant add-on to ArgoUML that would support usage-centered design and
      relate it to the other UML models. I am tenatively calling this future add-on "ArgoUCD."

      I offered to be moderator of this list because I am very eager to continue the
      discussion about UC-D, because I want to keep in contact with potential users
      of ArgoUCD, and because I have experience running mailing lists for the
      ArgoUML project.


      jason!
      http://www.ics.uci.edu/~jrobbins


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    • dodetoyinbo@excite.com
      My name is Denise Odetoyinbo. I am a Business Analyst interested in usage centered design. I am very new to this subject and probably will not contribute much
      Message 2 of 11 , Nov 22, 2000
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        My name is Denise Odetoyinbo. I am a Business Analyst interested in
        usage centered design. I am very new to this subject and probably
        will not contribute much initially.

        Thank you.
      • john.sisk@radsoft.com
        Hi there, I ve just joined the list so Hello to everyone on the list . I m a web developer with JSP and Java experience. For the last few weeks I ve been
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 12, 2000
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          Hi there,

          I've just joined the list so "Hello to everyone on the list".

          I'm a web developer with JSP and Java experience. For the last few
          weeks I've been eagerly reading Software for Use. It seems that Usage-
          centered Design will fit in very well with our XP process so I'm
          anxious to implement what I've learned so far in our next few
          iterations. So I'm looking forward to hearing how it's been working
          for others...

          Regards
          John Sisk
        • Jeff Patton
          John, This group s been somewhat inactive of late. But I ve found that if you post a question, you ll get a response and an opinion or two. I have a question
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 12, 2000
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            John,

            This group's been somewhat inactive of late. But I've
            found that if you post a question, you'll get a
            response and an opinion or two.

            I have a question for you regarding your comment about
            usage-centered design fitting into your XP
            environment: Given that XP attempts to avoid a lot of
            the up-front design trappings found in other
            development methodologies, do you foresee any
            challenges taking advantage of some of the up-front
            thinking found in usage-centered design?

            I'm curious to get your opinion given your XP culture
            there... since I think XP implementation varies from
            company to company.

            thanks,

            -Jeff



            --- john.sisk@... wrote:
            > Hi there,
            >
            > I've just joined the list so "Hello to everyone on
            > the list".
            >
            > I'm a web developer with JSP and Java experience.
            > For the last few
            > weeks I've been eagerly reading Software for Use. It
            > seems that Usage-
            > centered Design will fit in very well with our XP
            > process so I'm
            > anxious to implement what I've learned so far in our
            > next few
            > iterations. So I'm looking forward to hearing how
            > it's been working
            > for others...
            >
            > Regards
            > John Sisk
            >
            >


            __________________________________________________
            Do You Yahoo!?
            Yahoo! Shopping - Thousands of Stores. Millions of Products.
            http://shopping.yahoo.com/
          • John Sisk
            Jeff, Yes, XP does attempt to avoid a lot of the up-front design. However this doesn t mean that no design is done since in effect XP allows us to design
            Message 5 of 11 , Dec 12, 2000
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              Jeff,

              Yes, XP does attempt to avoid a lot of the up-front design. However this
              doesn't mean that no design is done since in effect XP allows us to design
              constantly in an iterative process rather than a waterfall process.

              Our current process seems close to Usage-centred design. I think the extra
              steps are deriving the Role Map, breaking our "User Stories" out into
              Essential Use-cases, the Use Case Map and the various Abstract Prototyes. I
              think Abstract Prototypes are going to prove invaluable since they allow us
              to rapidly run through our User Stories in order to make sure we are
              providing what the user needs to complete their task and also providing a
              stage for the client to get a feel for the screens and suggest changes at a
              time when it is relatively easier to make those changes.

              Also, our Planning Game is similar to the Joint Essential Modeling process
              as outlined in chapter 20.

              I'll keep you posted on how well the two processes integrate.

              Regards
              John Sisk





              -----Original Message-----
              From: Jeff Patton [mailto:jeff621@...]
              Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2000 1:21 PM
              To: usage-centered@egroups.com
              Subject: Re: [usage-centered] Introduction


              John,

              This group's been somewhat inactive of late. But I've
              found that if you post a question, you'll get a
              response and an opinion or two.

              I have a question for you regarding your comment about
              usage-centered design fitting into your XP
              environment: Given that XP attempts to avoid a lot of
              the up-front design trappings found in other
              development methodologies, do you foresee any
              challenges taking advantage of some of the up-front
              thinking found in usage-centered design?

              I'm curious to get your opinion given your XP culture
              there... since I think XP implementation varies from
              company to company.

              thanks,

              -Jeff



              --- john.sisk@... wrote:
              > Hi there,
              >
              > I've just joined the list so "Hello to everyone on
              > the list".
              >
              > I'm a web developer with JSP and Java experience.
              > For the last few
              > weeks I've been eagerly reading Software for Use. It
              > seems that Usage-
              > centered Design will fit in very well with our XP
              > process so I'm
              > anxious to implement what I've learned so far in our
              > next few
              > iterations. So I'm looking forward to hearing how
              > it's been working
              > for others...
              >
              > Regards
              > John Sisk
              >
              >


              __________________________________________________
              Do You Yahoo!?
              Yahoo! Shopping - Thousands of Stores. Millions of Products.
              http://shopping.yahoo.com/
            • Jeff Patton
              Thanks, I ll look for a posting. I should have mentioned, I work in an XP environment as well. In this one it s been tough to inject some organization into
              Message 6 of 11 , Dec 12, 2000
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                Thanks, I'll look for a posting.

                I should have mentioned, I work in an XP environment
                as well. In this one it's been tough to inject some
                organization into the design process - at least the UI
                and usability part. If you subscribe to the
                extremeprogramming list, you see lots of folks dealing
                with how tough it is to sell XP into a non-XP
                environment. I see the same thing trying to sell
                usage-centered design into this XP environment. :-)
                Your feedback on its usefulness would be helpful.

                Thanks,

                -Jeff





                --- John Sisk <john.sisk@...> wrote:
                > Jeff,
                >
                > Yes, XP does attempt to avoid a lot of the up-front
                > design. However this
                > doesn't mean that no design is done since in effect
                > XP allows us to design
                > constantly in an iterative process rather than a
                > waterfall process.
                >
                > Our current process seems close to Usage-centred
                > design. I think the extra
                > steps are deriving the Role Map, breaking our "User
                > Stories" out into
                > Essential Use-cases, the Use Case Map and the
                > various Abstract Prototyes. I
                > think Abstract Prototypes are going to prove
                > invaluable since they allow us
                > to rapidly run through our User Stories in order to
                > make sure we are
                > providing what the user needs to complete their task
                > and also providing a
                > stage for the client to get a feel for the screens
                > and suggest changes at a
                > time when it is relatively easier to make those
                > changes.
                >
                > Also, our Planning Game is similar to the Joint
                > Essential Modeling process
                > as outlined in chapter 20.
                >
                > I'll keep you posted on how well the two processes
                > integrate.
                >
                > Regards
                > John Sisk
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: Jeff Patton [mailto:jeff621@...]
                > Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2000 1:21 PM
                > To: usage-centered@egroups.com
                > Subject: Re: [usage-centered] Introduction
                >
                >
                > John,
                >
                > This group's been somewhat inactive of late. But
                > I've
                > found that if you post a question, you'll get a
                > response and an opinion or two.
                >
                > I have a question for you regarding your comment
                > about
                > usage-centered design fitting into your XP
                > environment: Given that XP attempts to avoid a lot
                > of
                > the up-front design trappings found in other
                > development methodologies, do you foresee any
                > challenges taking advantage of some of the up-front
                > thinking found in usage-centered design?
                >
                > I'm curious to get your opinion given your XP
                > culture
                > there... since I think XP implementation varies from
                > company to company.
                >
                > thanks,
                >
                > -Jeff
                >
                >
                >
                > --- john.sisk@... wrote:
                > > Hi there,
                > >
                > > I've just joined the list so "Hello to everyone on
                > > the list".
                > >
                > > I'm a web developer with JSP and Java experience.
                > > For the last few
                > > weeks I've been eagerly reading Software for Use.
                > It
                > > seems that Usage-
                > > centered Design will fit in very well with our XP
                > > process so I'm
                > > anxious to implement what I've learned so far in
                > our
                > > next few
                > > iterations. So I'm looking forward to hearing how
                > > it's been working
                > > for others...
                > >
                > > Regards
                > > John Sisk
                > >
                > >
                >
                >
                > __________________________________________________
                > Do You Yahoo!?
                > Yahoo! Shopping - Thousands of Stores. Millions of
                > Products.
                > http://shopping.yahoo.com/
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >


                __________________________________________________
                Do You Yahoo!?
                Yahoo! Shopping - Thousands of Stores. Millions of Products.
                http://shopping.yahoo.com/
              • Nuno J. Nunes
                on 12/12/00 23:05, Jeff Patton at jeff621@yahoo.com wrote: Hi, the real issue regarding XP and any up-front modeling approach is the testability of the models.
                Message 7 of 11 , Dec 13, 2000
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                  on 12/12/00 23:05, Jeff Patton at jeff621@... wrote:

                  Hi, the real issue regarding XP and any up-front modeling approach is the
                  testability of the models. Can you build test cases for analysis and design
                  level models? Whether they are for user interface design purposes or not
                  doesn't matter.

                  Even if you argue that prototypes and subsequent usability evaluation of
                  prototypes are a way of testing user interface models... I don't believe
                  they match the initial idea behind XP... For instance, can you break those
                  tests?

                  This and other issues where discussed in a workshop at UML'2000 in Kent - UK
                  last September - eXtreme Programming and Modeling
                  (http://www.extrememodeling.org/XpmWorkshop.html). There is also a site from
                  the workshop organizers about this subject http://www.extrememodeling.org/

                  Cheers
                  Nuno
                  --
                  Nuno Jardim Nunes
                  University of Madeira - Teaching Assistant
                  Mathematics Dep. - Computer Science Unit
                  phone: +351 291 705160 (direct) 705150 (secretary)
                  fax: +351 291 705199
                  URL: http://math.uma.pt/njn/
                  Address: Campus Universitário da Penteada
                  9000 - Funchal - Portugal
                • John Sisk
                  Hi Nuno, You bring up an issue I hadn t considered fully , ie testing the model. Thank you for the link to www.extremmodeling.org which opens up a new learning
                  Message 8 of 11 , Dec 15, 2000
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                    Hi Nuno,

                    You bring up an issue I hadn't considered fully , ie testing the model.
                    Thank you for the link to www.extremmodeling.org which opens up a new
                    learning path for me, and I'm sure some interesting discussions here at work
                    :)

                    Regards
                    John Sisk

                    <snip>
                    Hi, the real issue regarding XP and any up-front modeling approach is the
                    testability of the models. Can you build test cases for analysis and design
                    level models? Whether they are for user interface design purposes or not
                    doesn't matter.

                    Even if you argue that prototypes and subsequent usability evaluation of
                    prototypes are a way of testing user interface models... I don't believe
                    they match the initial idea behind XP... For instance, can you break those
                    tests?
                    </snip>
                  • Jeff Patton
                    Just to add my 2 cents to testability and UI - and I m not sure it pertains directly to extremeModeling: I work in an XP shop, and indeed there is a focus on
                    Message 9 of 11 , Dec 15, 2000
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                      Just to add my 2 cents to testability and UI - and I'm
                      not sure it pertains directly to extremeModeling: I
                      work in an XP shop, and indeed there is a focus on
                      making things testable. I've seen it impose a
                      detrimental effect on usability at times.
                      Specifically, I've seen UI be implemented a particular
                      way *because it's testable* not because it best
                      supports what the user is trying to accomplish.

                      Basically that points to keeping our eye on the goal -
                      to create usable, good software. XP is a means to an
                      end - not an end in and of itself.

                      </twoCents>

                      thanks,

                      -Jeff



                      --- John Sisk <john.sisk@...> wrote:
                      > Hi Nuno,
                      >
                      > You bring up an issue I hadn't considered fully , ie
                      > testing the model.
                      > Thank you for the link to www.extremmodeling.org
                      > which opens up a new
                      > learning path for me, and I'm sure some interesting
                      > discussions here at work
                      > :)
                      >
                      > Regards
                      > John Sisk
                      >
                      > <snip>
                      > Hi, the real issue regarding XP and any up-front
                      > modeling approach is the
                      > testability of the models. Can you build test cases
                      > for analysis and design
                      > level models? Whether they are for user interface
                      > design purposes or not
                      > doesn't matter.
                      >
                      > Even if you argue that prototypes and subsequent
                      > usability evaluation of
                      > prototypes are a way of testing user interface
                      > models... I don't believe
                      > they match the initial idea behind XP... For
                      > instance, can you break those
                      > tests?
                      > </snip>
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >


                      __________________________________________________
                      Do You Yahoo!?
                      Yahoo! Shopping - Thousands of Stores. Millions of Products.
                      http://shopping.yahoo.com/
                    • Nuno J. Nunes
                      ... My comment wasn t about usability... It was about XP and lot s of people out there saying that they are doing XP when in fact they found XP to be a cool
                      Message 10 of 11 , Dec 17, 2000
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                        on 16/12/00 00:35, Jeff Patton at jeff621@... wrote:

                        > Just to add my 2 cents to testability and UI - and I'm
                        > not sure it pertains directly to extremeModeling: I
                        > work in an XP shop, and indeed there is a focus on
                        > making things testable. I've seen it impose a
                        > detrimental effect on usability at times.
                        > Specifically, I've seen UI be implemented a particular
                        > way *because it's testable* not because it best
                        > supports what the user is trying to accomplish.

                        My comment wasn't about usability... It was about XP and lot's of people out
                        there saying that they are doing XP when in fact they found XP to be a
                        "cool" name to call their ad-hoc chaotic ways of working... [I'm of course
                        not talking about anybody in particular].

                        XP means taking every programming practice to an extreme. Let's say
                        testing... You have to test everything and you can't write code unless you
                        write a test case and try to break it. XP is also against any kind of
                        modeling at higher levels of abstraction (i.e. you can draw a couple of UML
                        diagrams if they represent implementation level models). This is highly
                        against any model-based approach to software development - including usage
                        centered design and others.

                        > Basically that points to keeping our eye on the goal -
                        > to create usable, good software. XP is a means to an
                        > end - not an end in and of itself.

                        If you mean that one can use some of XP practices within a different
                        development approach... That's Ok but that's not XP. The only thing new to
                        XP is taking every practice to an extreme... If you only take some you're
                        not doing XP... But you can develop good and usable software.

                        Nuno

                        >
                        > --- John Sisk <john.sisk@...> wrote:
                        >> Hi Nuno,
                        >>
                        >> You bring up an issue I hadn't considered fully , ie
                        >> testing the model.
                        >> Thank you for the link to www.extremmodeling.org
                        >> which opens up a new
                        >> learning path for me, and I'm sure some interesting
                        >> discussions here at work
                        >> :)
                        >>
                        >> Regards
                        >> John Sisk
                        >>
                        >> <snip>
                        >> Hi, the real issue regarding XP and any up-front
                        >> modeling approach is the
                        >> testability of the models. Can you build test cases
                        >> for analysis and design
                        >> level models? Whether they are for user interface
                        >> design purposes or not
                        >> doesn't matter.
                        >>
                        >> Even if you argue that prototypes and subsequent
                        >> usability evaluation of
                        >> prototypes are a way of testing user interface
                        >> models... I don't believe
                        >> they match the initial idea behind XP... For
                        >> instance, can you break those
                        >> tests?
                        >> </snip>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >
                        >
                        > __________________________________________________
                        > Do You Yahoo!?
                        > Yahoo! Shopping - Thousands of Stores. Millions of Products.
                        > http://shopping.yahoo.com/
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >

                        --
                        Nuno Jardim Nunes
                        University of Madeira - Teaching Assistant
                        Mathematics Dep. - Computer Science Unit
                        phone: +351 291 705160 (direct) 705150 (secretary)
                        fax: +351 291 705199
                        URL: http://www.math.uma.pt/njn/
                        Address: Campus Universitário da Penteada
                        9000 - Funchal - Portugal
                      • stanley_sutton
                        I ve been programming for a living for around 26 years now. I learned to program 38 years ago in abstract machine language ( no computer to run it on). Most
                        Message 11 of 11 , Apr 18, 2002
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                          I've been programming for a living for around 26 years now. I learned to program 38 years ago in abstract machine language ( no computer to run it on). Most recently (last 10 years or so), I've been doing object oriented programming in C++. The majority of what I've been doing has only had error messages for a user interface, with a few exceptions. What little GUI work I've done has been with Borland, MS VC++, and MS VB. It has all been by following the examples of what I've seen, and hasn't been desingned at all.

                          Since I value design very highly in building classes in C++, I was very glad to run across _Software_for_Use_ by Constantine & Lockwood (refered from the Bruce Eckel's site, by the way). Since I have some of Constantine's structured programming books in my library, I ordered it without looking, feeling confident it would be a good reference book, at the very least.

                          I'm currently up to chapter 10, and spending as much time reading as I can. I hope there are a few people still reading/using this group, as I believe I'll have a fair number of questions.
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