Patterns for Evaluating Usability of Domain-Specific Languages

Barišić, A., P. Monteiro, V. Amaral, M. Goulão, and M. Pessoa Monteiro, "Patterns for Evaluating Usability of Domain-Specific Languages", Proceedings of the Pattern Languages of Programs Conference, PLoP 2012: ACM, 19-21 October, 2012.

Date Presented:

19-21 October


For years the development of software artifacts was the sole domain of developers and project
managers. However, experience has taught us that the Users play a very important role in
software development and construction. On Domain Specific Languages the inclusion of the
domain experts directly in the development cycle is a very important characteristic, as they have
often an important role in making and constraining the domain of the language.
DSLs are credited with increased productivity and ease of use, but this fact is hardly ever proven.
Moreover, usability tests are frequently only performed at the final stages of the project when
changes have a significant impact on the budget. To help prevent this, in this paper we present a
pattern language for evaluating the usability of DSLs. Our patterns can help show how to use an
iterative usability validation development strategy to produce DSLs that can achieve a high
degree of usability.


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