The Concept Maps Method as a Tool to Evaluate the Usability of APIs

Jens Gerken, Hans-Christian Jetter, Michael Zöllner, Mario Mader, Harald Reiterer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingsConference contributionpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Application programming interfaces (APIs) are the interfaces to existing code structures, such as widgets, frameworks, or toolkits. Therefore, they very much do have an impact on the quality of the resulting system. So, ensuring that developers can make the most out of them is an important challenge. However standard usability evaluation methods as known from HCI have limitations in grasping the interaction between developer and API as most IDEs (essentially the GUI) capture only part of it. In this paper we present the Concept Map method to study the usability of an API over time. This allows us to elicit the mental model of a programmer when using an API and thereby identify usability issues and learning barriers and their development over time.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2011 - 29th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Conference Proceedings and Extended Abstracts
PublisherACM Press
Pages3373-3382
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450302289
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '11) - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: 7 May 201112 May 2011
http://www.chi2011.org/

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Conference

ConferenceACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '11)
CountryCanada
CityVancouver, BC
Period07.05.201112.05.2011
Internet address

Keywords

  • Api usability
  • Concept maps
  • Evaluation method
  • Longitudinal

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