SPI success factors within product usability evaluation

Jeff Winter, Kari Rönkkö

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents an experience report where we compare 8 years of experience of product related usability testing and evaluation with principles for software process improvement (SPI). In theory the product and the process views are often seen to be complementary, but studies of industry have demonstrated the opposite. Therefore, more empirical studies are needed to understand and improve the present situation. We find areas of close agreement as well as areas where our work illuminates new characteristics. It has been identified that successful SPI is dependent upon being successfully combined with a business orientation. Usability and business orientation also have strong connections although this has not been extensively addressed in SPI publications. Reasons for this could be that usability focuses on product metrics whilst today's SPI mainly focuses on process metrics. Also because today's SPI is dominated by striving towards a standardized, controllable, and predictable software engineering process: whilst successful usability efforts in organisations are more about creating a creative organisational culture advocating a useful product throughout the development and product life cycle. We provide a study and discussion that supports future development when combining usability and product focus with SPI, in particular if these efforts are related to usability process improvement efforts. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2059-2072
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Systems and Software
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Computer Sciences (10201)


  • Human-computer interaction
  • Management
  • Organisation
  • Process metrics
  • Software development
  • Software engineering
  • Software process improvement
  • Usability product metrics
  • User experience


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