Please don’t make me draw! …
Please don’t make me draw!
Lesson learned during the development of a software
to support early analysis of object-oriented systems.
This paper describes the development of a software tool to support rich pictures creation for Object Oriented Analysis (OOA). This software should be useful both as an e-learning tool for bachelor-level students, as well as for practitioners working with agile methodologies. Since the transposition of manual rich picture practise into software proved difficult, we decided to follow a user-centered approach, design and implement a prototype with basic functionalities, then run a usability test with a few students and professionals. The feedback collected in the test validated the design of our prototype, and forced us to re-consider the relationship between concrete examples and abstract concepts in rich pictures and in our tool. This unexpectedly helped us realize how to implement support for behavioral description (i.e. events), an elusive feature before the test. Moreover we gained a deeper insight on programmers’ perspective on their practise.
At a more general level we realized how modern object-oriented development methodologies, such as agile methods, are informed by design, and sometimes assume design skills that programmers do not have or do not value. An important lesson to consider carefully to keep our tool usable.