You are previewing Software for Use: A Practical Guide to the Models and Methods of Usage-Centered Design.
O'Reilly logo
Software for Use: A Practical Guide to the Models and Methods of Usage-Centered Design

Book Description

In the quest for quality, software developers have long focused on improving the internal architecture of their products. Larry L. Constantine--who originally created structured design to effect such improvement--now joins with well-known consultant Lucy A. D. Lockwood to turn the focus of software development to the external architecture. In this book, they present the models and methods of a revolutionary approach to software that will help programmers deliver more usable software--software that will enable users to accomplish their tasks with greater ease and efficiency.

Recognizing usability as the key to successful software, Constantine and Lockwood provide concrete tools and techniques that programmers can employ to meet that end. Much more than just another set of rules for good user-interface design, this book guides readers through a systematic software development process. This process, called usage-centered design, weaves together two major threads in software development methods: use cases (also used with UML) and essential modeling. With numerous examples and case studies of both conventional and specialized software applications, the authors illustrate what has been shown in practice to work and what has proved to be of greatest practical value.


  • Presents a streamlined process for developing highly usable software

  • Describes practical methods and models successfully implemented in industry

  • Complements modern development practices, including the Unified Process and other object-oriented software engineering approaches

  • Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Copyright Page
    3. Contents
    4. Acknowledgments
    5. Preface
    6. Section I Toward More Usable Software
      1. 1 Software for Use: Usage, Usability, and User Interfaces
      2. 2 Built-In Usability: A Usage-Centered Design Approach
      3. 3 In Principle: Rules and Principles of Usage-Centered Design
    7. Section II Essential Models for Usability
      1. 4 Users and Related Species: Understanding Users and User Roles
      2. 5 Working Structures: Task Modeling with Essential Use Cases
      3. 6 Interface Architecture: Interface Contents and Navigation
    8. Section III Creating the Visual Design
      1. 7 Designing the Dialogue: Layout and Communication
      2. 8 Practical Widgetry: Choosing and Designing Visual Components
      3. 9 Innovative Interfaces: Creative Interface Engineering and Custom Components
    9. Section IV Completing the Design
      1. 10 Expressing Solutions: Implementation Modeling and Prototypes
      2. 11 Help Me If You Can: Designing Help and Helpful Messages
      3. 12 Once a Beginner: Supporting Evolving Usage Patterns
      4. 13 In Place: Fitting the Operational Context
      5. 14 Same Game, Different Fields: Special Applications, Special Issues
      6. 15 Usage-Centered Design Applied: The TeleGuida Case
    10. Section V Assessment and Improvement
      1. 16 Better Next Time: Improvement by Inspection and Review
      2. 17 By the Numbers: Measuring Usability in Practice
      3. 18 Test Scores: Laboratory and Field Testing of Usability
    11. Section VI Organizing and Managing the Process
      1. 19 Code and You’re Done: Implementing Interfaces
      2. 20 Using Your Users: Users in the Development Process
      3. 21 Getting Organized: Usability in the Larger Context
    12. Appendix A: Suggested Readings
    13. Appendix B: Eleven Ways to Make Software More Usable: General Principles of Software Usability
    14. Appendix C: Glossary
    15. Appendix D: Forms for Usage-Centered Design
    16. Appendix E: Subjective Usability Scales for Software (SUSS)
    17. References
    18. About the Authors
    19. Colophon
    20. Index