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Reporting usability defects-do reporters report what software developers need?

conference contribution
posted on 2016-06-01, 00:00 authored by N S M Yusop, John Grundy, Rajesh VasaRajesh Vasa
Reporting usability defects can be a challenging task, especially in convincing the software developers that the reported defect actually requires attention. Stronger evidence in the form of specific details is often needed. However, research to date in software defect reporting has not investigated the value of capturing different information based on defect type. We surveyed practitioners in both open source communities and industrial software organizations about their usability defect reporting practices to better understand information needs to address usability defect reporting issues. Our analysis of 147 responses show that reporters often provide observed result, expected result and steps to reproduce when describing usability defects, similar to the way other types of defects are reported. However, reporters rarely provide usability-related information. In fact, reporters ranked cause of the problem is the most difficult information to provide followed by usability principle, video recoding, UI event trace and title. Conversely, software developers consider cause of the problem as the most helpful information for them to fix usability defects. Our statistical analysis reveals a substantial gap between what reporters provide and what software developers need when fixing usability defects. We propose some remedies to resolve this gap.



Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering. Conference (20th : 2016 : Limerick, Ireland)


271 - 280


Association for Computer Machinery


Limerick, Ireland

Place of publication

New York, N.Y.

Start date


End date






Publication classification

E Conference publication; E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2016, ACM



Title of proceedings

EASE 2016 : Proceedings of the 20th Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering International Conference