UCT CS Research Document Archive

Improving the usability of scientific software with participatory design: a new interface design for radio astronomy visualisation software

Rampersad, Laurisha , Sarah Blyth, Ed Elson and Michelle M. Kuttel (2017) Improving the usability of scientific software with participatory design: a new interface design for radio astronomy visualisation software. In Proceedings SAICSIT '17 Proceedings of the South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists, Thaba 'Nchu, South Africa.

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Abstract

The importance of usability considerations in software development is well recognised. However, typically usability is not considered as an explicit goal in the development of scientific software, which is often done by developers with domain-specific knowledge but little formal software development training. In interactive software developed for international collaborations such as the Square Kilometre Array, usability is increasingly important. A possible solution is persistent collaboration between software developers and domain experts to design effective user interfaces. Here we carry out a User Centred participatory design approach to designing an astronomy visualisation interface. The methodology is iterative: in each iteration, a prototype interface was designed and then evaluated by users. Frequent consultation with domain experts produced an innovative design for an astronomy visualisation interface with improved usability.

EPrint Type:Conference Paper
Subjects:K Computing Milieux: K.m MISCELLANEOUS
ID Code:1214
Deposited By:Kuttel, Michelle
Deposited On:23 November 2017
Alternative Locations:https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=3129416.3129899