Usability through Design and its Impact on Reusability

N. Hari Prasad, G. Ramesh


Usability is ‘‘the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specific context of use’’. Usability generally referred to as ‘‘quality in use’’. A software application even with more services and functionality is futile, if it possess usability problems. The existing work defined usability guidelines and design artifacts to build specific usability characteristics into software applications. These guidelines were named as “usability guidelines for software development”. The existing work hypothesized that applying the usability guidelines, reduces development time, reduces perceived usability-associated functionality difficulty for developers, and improves the resulting software designs quality. However, the existing work did not consider impact of using usability guidelines on reusability. In this work usability is increased through design using guidelines as well as assesses its impact on reusability. In this work the usability is trade off against reusability. The guidelines are applied with two modes of guidelines namely, No Guidelines (NG) and Full Guidelines (FG) on each application and compare the usability and quality achieved in each mode. The results obtained from each mode are assessed and compared each other from the perspective of reusability as an intention to find usability impact on reusability by calculating reuse percent of source code of each mode.

Keywords: Usability, Reusability, Usability Guidelines, Reuse Percentage, Effort Saved.

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