Usability Evaluation of Multi-Device/Platform User Interfaces Generated by Model-Driven Engineering

Nowadays several Computer-Aided Software Engineering environments exploit Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) techniques in order to generate a single user interface for a given computing platform or multi-platform user interfaces for several computing platforms simultaneously. Therefore, there is a need to assess the usability of those generated user interfaces, either taken in isolation or compared to each other. This paper describes an MDE approach that generates multi-platform graphical user interfaces (e.g., desktop, web) that will be subject to an exploratory controlled experiment. The usability of user interfaces generated for the two mentioned platforms and used on multiple display devices (i.e., standard size, large, and small screens) has been examined in terms of satisfaction, effectiveness and efficiency. An experiment with a factorial design for repeated measures was conducted for 31 participants, i.e., postgraduate students and professors selected by convenience sampling. The data were collected with the help of questionnaires and forms and were analyzed using parametricn and non-parametric tests such as ANOVA with repeated measures and Friedman's test, respectively. Efficiency was significantly better in large screens than in small ones as well as in the desktop platform rather than in the web platform, with a confidence level of 95%. The experiment also suggests that satisfaction tends to be better in standard size screens than in small ones. The results suggest that the tested MDE approach should incorporate enhancements in its multi-device/platform user interface generation process in order to improve its generated usability.
ACM Press, New York
Proc. of 4th Int. Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement ESEM'2010