Title page for ETD etd-06242004-123524

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Allgood, Christian
Author's Email Address callgood@vt.edu
URN etd-06242004-123524
Title The Claims Library Capability Maturity Model: Evaluating a Claims Library
Degree Master of Science
Department Computer Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
McCrickard, Donald Scott Committee Chair
Balci, Osman Committee Member
Pérez-Quiñones, Manuel A. Committee Member
  • human-computer interaction
  • capability maturity model
  • notification systems
  • software reuse
Date of Defense 2004-06-11
Availability unrestricted
One of the problem that plagues Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) software is its development cost. Many software companies forego the usability engineering aspect of their projects due to the time required to design and test user interfaces. Unfortunately, there is no "silver bullet" for user interface design and implementation because they are inherently difficult tasks. As computers are moving off the desktop, the greatest challenge for designers will be integrating these systems seamlessly into our everyday lives. The potential for reuse in user interfaces lies in reducing the time and effort required for this task, without sacrificing design quality.

In this work we begin with an iterative development cycle for a claims library based on prominent literature within the HCI and software engineering fields. We constructed the Claims Library to be a repository of potentially reusable notification system claims. We examine the library through theoretical and practical perspectives. The theoretical perspective reveals tradeoffs in the initial implementation that relate to Krueger's taxonomy of reuse. The practical perspective stems from experience in designing and conducting usability testing for an in-vehicle input device using the Claims Library. While valuable, these examinations did not provide a distinct method of improving the library. Expecting to uncover a specific diagnosis for the problems in the library, it was unclear how they should be approached with further development efforts.

With this realization, we saw that a more important and immediate contribution would not be another iteration of the Claims Library design. Rather, a clarification of the underlying theory that would better inform future systems development seemed a more urgent and worthy use of our experience. This clarification would need to have several characteristics to include: composed of a staged or prioritized architecture, represents an ideal model grounded in literature, and possesses intermediate development objectives and assessment points.

As a solution, we propose the Claims Library Capability Maturity Model (CL-CMM), based on the theoretical deficiencies that should guide development of a claims library, as noted in the two evaluations. This thesis delivers a five-stage model to include process areas, goals, and practices that address larger threads of concern. Our capability maturity model is patterned after models in software engineering and human resource management. We include a full description of each stage, a gap analysis method of appraisal, and an example of its use. Several directions for future work are noted that are necessary to continue development and validation of the model.

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