Data-Driven Usability Refactoring: Tools and Challenges
Usability has long been recognized as an important software quality attribute and it has become essential in web application development and maintenance. However, it is still hard to integrate usability evaluation and improvement practices in the software development process. Moreover, these practices are usually unaffordable for small to medium-sized companies. In this position paper we propose an approach and tools to allow the crowd of web users participate in the process of usability evaluation and repair. Since we use the refactoring technique for usability improvement, we introduce the notion of “data-driven refactoring”: use data from the mass of users to learn about refactoring opportunities, plus also about refactoring effectiveness. This creates an improvement cycle where some refactorings may be discarded while others introduced, depending on their evaluated success. The paper also discusses some of the challenges that we foresee ahead.