This Article 
 Bibliographic References 
 Add to: 
Guidelines for Eliciting Usability Functionalities
November 2007 (vol. 33 no. 11)
pp. 744-758
Like any other quality attribute, usability imposes specific constraints on software components. Features that raise the software system's usability level have to be considered from the earliest development stages. However, discovering and documenting usability features is likely to be beyond the usability knowledge of most requirements engineers, developers and users. We propose an approach based on elicitation patterns that capitalise upon key elements recurrently intervening in the usability features elicitation and specification process. Pattern use furnishes requirements analysts with a knowledge repository that helps them to ask the right questions and capture precise usability requirements information.

[1] A. Andrés, J. Bosch, A. Charalampos, R. Chatley, X. Ferre, E. Folmer, N. Juristo, J. Magee, S. Menegos, and A. Moreno, Usability Attributes Affected by Software Architecture, Deliv. 2. STATUS project, June 2002,
[2] L. Bass, B. John, and J. Kates, “Achieving Usability through Software Architecture,” Technical Report CMU/SEI-2001-TR-005, Software Eng. Inst., Carnegie Mellon Univ., 2001.
[3] L. Bass and B. John, “Linking Usability to Software Architecture Patterns through General Scenarios,” The J. Systems and Software, vol. 66, no. 3, pp. 187-197, 2003.
[4] L. Bass, B. John, N. Juristo, and M.I. Sanchez, “Usability Supporting Architectural Patterns,” Proc. Int'l Conf. Software Eng., tutorial, 2004.
[5] M. Barbacci, R. Ellison, A. Lattanze, J.A. Stafford, C.B. Weinstock, and W.G. Wood, Quality Attribute Workshop, third ed., CMU/SEI-2003-TR-016, Software Eng. Inst., Carnegie Mellon Univ., 2003.
[6] C. Benson, A. Elman, S. Nickell, and C. Robertson, GNOME Human, “Interface Guidelines,” hig/1.0index.html, 2007.
[7] D. Berry, “The Importance of Ignorance in Requirements Engineering,” J. Systems and Software, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 179-184, 1995.
[8] B. Boehm, J.R. Brown, H. Kaspar, M. Lipow, G.J. Macleod, and M.J. Merritt, Characteristics of Software Quality. North Holland, 1978.
[9] R.G. Bias and D.J. Mayhew, Cost-Justifying Usability. An Update for the Internet Age. Elsevier, 2005.
[10] J. Bosch and N. Juristo, “Designing Software Architectures for Usability,” Proc. Int'l Conf. Software Eng., tutorial, 2003.
[11] F. Buschmann, R. Meuneir, H. Rohnert, P. Sommerland, and M. Stal, Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture, A System of Patterns. John Wiley and Sons, 1996.
[12] M.G. Chirstel and K.C. Kang, “Issues in Requirements Elicitation,” Technical Report CMU/SEI-92-TR-012, Software Eng. Inst., Carnegie Mellon Univ., 1992.
[13] M. Chrusch, “Seven Great Myths of Usability,” Interactions, pp. 13-16, Sept./Oct. 2000.
[14] L. Constantine and L. Lockwood, Software for Use: A Practical Guide to the Models and Methods of Usage-Centered Design. Addison-Wesley, 1999
[15] T. Coram and L. Lee, “Experiences: A Pattern Language for User Interface Design,” 1996, Experiences.html.
[16] L.M. Cysneiros, V.M. Werneck, and A. Kushniruk, “Reusable Knowledge for Satisficing Usability Requirements.” Proc. 13th Int'l Conf. Requirements Eng., 2005.
[17] G.B. Davis, “Strategies for Information Requirements Determination,” IBM Systems J., vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 3-30, 1982.
[18] G.M. Donahue, “Usability and the Bottom Line,” IEEE Software, vol. 18, no. 1, pp 22-30, Jan./Feb. 2001.
[19] J.S. Dumas and J.C. Redish, A Practical Guide to Usability Testing. Exert, 1999.
[20] C. Ebert and J.D. Man, “Requirements Uncertainty: Influencing Factors and Concrete Improvements,” Proc. Int'l Conf. Software Eng., pp. 553-560, 2005.
[21] E. Folmer, J. van Group, and J. Bosch, “Architecting for Usability: A Survey,” J. Systems and Software, vol. 70, nos. 1-2, pp. 61-78, 2004.
[22] L. Hagge and K. Lappe, “Sharing Requirements Engineering Experience Using Patterns,” IEEE Software, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 24-31, Jan./Feb. 2005.
[23] D. Hix and H.R. Hartson, Developing User Interfaces: Ensuring Usability through Product and Process. John Wiley and Sons, 1993.
[24] N.L. Hsueh and J.Y. Kuo, “Distributed Requirements Elicitation Using Patterns Proceedings of the Modelling,” Proc. Identification and Control Conf., 2003.
[25] “IEEE Std 830: Recommended Practice for Software Requirements Specifications,” IEEE, 1998.
[26] “IEEE Std 1061: Standard for a Software Quality Metrics Methodology,” IEEE, 1998.
[27] “ISO 9126-1 Software Engineering—Product Quality—Part 1: Quality Model,” ISO, 2000.
[28] “ISO Std 13407: Human-Centred Design Processes for Interactive Systems,” ISO, 1999.
[29] “ISO Std. 18529: Human-Centered Lifecyle Process Descriptions,” ISO, 2000.
[30] “ISO Std. 9241-11: Ergonomic Requirements for Office Work with Visual Display Terminals. Part 11: Guidance on Usability,” ISO, 1998.
[31] S.A. Laasko, “User Interface Designing Patterns,” 2003, index_tree.html.
[32] T. Jokela, “Guiding Designers to the World of Usability: Determining Usability Requirements through Teamwork,” Human-Centered Software Eng., A. Seffah, J. Gulliksen, and M.Desmarais, eds., Kluwer, 2005.
[33] N. Juristo, A. Moreno, and M. Sánchez, “Architectural Sensitive Usability Patterns,” Proc. Int'l Conf. Software Eng. Workshop Bridging the Gaps between Usability and Software Development, 2003.
[34] N. Juristo, A. Moreno, and M. Sánchez, Techniques and Patterns for Architecture-Level Usability Improvements, Deliv. 3.4 STATUS project, May 2003,
[35] N. Juristo, A.M. Moreno, and M.I. Sánchez-Segura, “Analysing the Impact on Usability on Software Design,” J. Systems and Software, vol. 80, no. 9, pp. 1506-1516, Sept. 2007.
[36] R. Kazman, J. Gunaratne, and B. Jerome, “Why Can't Software Engineers and HCI Practitioners Work Together?” Human-Computer Interaction Theory and Practice, C. Stephanidis and L.Erlbaum, eds., Elsevier, 2003.
[37] S. Konrad and B. Cheng, “Requirements Patterns for Embedded Systems,” Proc. IEEE Int'l Conf. Requirements Eng., 2002.
[38] B. Kovitz, “Ambiguity and What to Do about It,” Proc. IEEE Joint Int'l Conf. Requirements Eng., key talk, 2002.
[39] S. Lauesen, “Communication Gaps in a Tender Process,” Requirements Eng., vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 247-261, Nov. 2005.
[40] D.J. Mayhew, The Usability Engineering Lifecycle. Morgan Kaufmann 1999.
[41] J. Nielsen, Usability Engineering. John Wiley & Sons, 1993.
[42] J. Nielsen, “Heuristic Evaluation,” Usability Inspection Methods, J.Nielsen and R.L. Mack, eds., John Wiley & Sons, 1994.
[43] J. Nielsen, Return on Investment for Usability. Alertbox, Jan. 2003, http:/
[44] D. Perry and A. Wolf, “Foundations for the Study of Software Architecture,” ACM Software Eng. Notes, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 40-52, Oct. 1992.
[45] “QUISTM Questionnaire for User Interaction Satisfaction,” http://lap.umd.eduQUIS/, 2007.
[46] “REPARE,” , 2006.
[47] A. Sheffah and E. Metzker, “The Obstacles and Myths of Usability and Software Engineering,” Comm. ACM, vol. 47, no. 12, pp. 71-76, Dec. 2004.
[48] B. Shneiderman, Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction. Addison-Wesley, 1998.
[49] The Standish Group International Inc., “CHAOS Chronicles c.3.0,” , 2003.
[50] Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge, 2004, http:/,
[51] J. Tidwell, The Case for HCI Design Patterns, , 1999.
[52] J. Tidwell, Designing Interfaces. Patterns for Effective Interaction Design. O'Reilly, 2005.
[53] Usability Pattern Collection, research/ patternshome.html, 2007.
[54] M. van Welie, The Amsterdam Collection of Patterns in User Interface Design, http:/, 2007.
[55] B.G. Whitenak, “RAPPeL: A Requirements-Analysis Pattern Language for Object Oriented Development,” Pattern Languages of Program Design, J.O. Coplien and D.C. Schmidt, eds., Addison-Wesley, 1995.
[56] K.E. Wiegers, Software Requirements. Microsoft Press, 1999.

Index Terms:
Usability requirements, usability features elicitation, Requirements/Specifications, Elicitation methods
Natalia Juristo, Ana Moreno, Maria-Isabel Sanchez-Segura, "Guidelines for Eliciting Usability Functionalities," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 33, no. 11, pp. 744-758, Nov. 2007, doi:10.1109/TSE.2007.70741
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.