Software Development and users role and influence

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The User's Position and Influence in Software Development

Question: Discuss the user's position and impact in software development.

User engagement is a critical issue that has sparked debate in software development circles. This is based on the fact that people have sometimes become irritated by using tech devices. According to research, user participation in the software creation lifecycle (SDLC) process influences how accessible software is (Majid, Noor, Adnan, & Mansor, 2010). Weak and unfinished program architecture is often attributed to developers and device designers failing to include users in the process. This paper seeks to discuss the role and influence that the user plays in developing software.
Available studies indicate that Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is an indicator of perception and satisfaction. To best way to involve end-users, therefore, is in the development of interactive systems. These include usability engineering (UE), user-centered design (UCD) and participatory design (PD) (Majid, Noor, Adnan, & Mansor, 2010). These methods integrate usability and give a role in terms of usability and involvement in software development lifecycle (SDLC). Other than usability, other quality characteristics are understandability, learnability, operability, attractiveness and compliance. To realize all these, the user has to be involved at all stages.
During the project selection and planning stage, the user is involved as an ‘input’, that is one who identifies the main functionality of the software. This usually helps to determine user needs that may include non-core purposes of the software such as the ‘usability goal’ and ‘user experience’. HCI assessment is to be done during the requirement stage. During the testing and deployment stage, the user’s involvement is to confirm that the requirement stage needs have been satisfied and also to validate the system. At this point, the user tests the software prototype. If unsatisfied, the developer will have to revise it and make it more suited to the desired needs. Concerns about ease of use, ease of learning and safety should be dealt with at this stage. During the system design and development stage, user input provides information on understanding, abilities and working ethos. This is to avoid developing superb software out of touch with reality on the ground.
In conclusion, It is important to involve the user at all stages of development. User involvement has to be both direct and indirect in designing and developing the software product. Doing this produces a usable product that meets the needs the goals of the developer and satisfies the user. The influence of the user, therefore, is seen in outstanding software easy that is well designed and easy to learn and use.

References

Majid, R., Noor, N., Adnan, W., & Mansor, S. (2010). A survey on user involvement in software Development Life Cycle from practitioner's perspectives. 5Th International Conference On Computer Sciences And Convergence Information Technology, 240-243. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/iccit.2010.5711064

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