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Shared Understanding of the User Experience : A Case Study of Collaboration Between Developers and Designers

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Title: Shared Understanding of the User Experience : A Case Study of Collaboration Between Developers and Designers
Author(s): Salo, Jukka-Pekka
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, none
Discipline: none
Degree program: Master's Programme in Computer Science
Specialisation: Software systems
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2020
Abstract:
User experience has become vital for many software development projects but the software development methods and tools are not originally intended for it. Moreover, software development is fundamentally complex and an increasingly social profession. This shift towards designing for user experience as a diverse group has brought new challenges to software development. The objective of this study is to find how developers and designers form a shared understanding of the software system UX under development. Central theme are the activities of UX work: what are the methods in use (e.g. User-Centered Design, Agile) and how do they work in practice, that is, what kind of information developers and designers share and what kind of artifacts do they produce in collaboration. This study answers two research questions: (RQ1) How do developers and designers form a shared understanding of the software system UX under development; and (RQ2) What are the artifacts utilized in their collaboration. To answer the research questions, a single case study research was conducted by interviewing the employees of a Finnish startup company. The company develops enterprise resource planning software (ERP) for rental businesses. The results show that shared understanding of the UX is achieved with UX activities throughout the system’s lifecycle where the user participation is required from the beginning of new software development. Furthermore, the artifacts in combination with developers’ participation in some of the UX activities will convey the design intent to the implemented software.
Keyword(s): user-centered design user experience collaborative software engineering


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