Issue No. 04 - July/August (1997 vol. 14)
<p>A succession of models for the software development process have been popular over the years, ranging from the simple stage model to the waterfall model-and more recently to such sophisticated models as the spiral.1,2 Over time, two of the key changes in how the process is conceptualized have been the addition of prototyping and specifying how the results of that prototyping influence changes to the software. </p> <p>John Gould and Clayton Lewis summarized the modifications to this process that are most fundamental to achieving usable software.3 The initial design must reflect a deep understanding of the users, what they want to accomplish with the software, and how they will be using it. Users should be involved in the design process to improve the mapping of their goals to the design. Now that prototypes are being introduced more frequently to improve software quality, users should be tested using them in realistic ways and situations. The results of such testing should then be fed back into the process, along with other lessons from the prototyping activity, to modify design. </p>
A. Sears and A. M. Lund, "Creating Effective User Interfaces," in IEEE Software, vol. 14, no. , pp. 21-24, 1997.