Welcome to the research group U-ODD!

Our research is directed towards use-orientation and the social element inherent in Software Engineering. So far we have been involved in, but not restricted to:

  • Innovation and usability
  • User expereince and usability tests
  • Usability metrics implementation in organisation
  • Agile versus formal/plan-driven needs of usability test results
  • End-user tailoring and flexible architecture.
  • Challenge and limits for communication in software development projects from an language point of view
  • Interaction design methods.
  • What social efforts are necessary for members in a worldwide distributed software project to build up their own project understandings?
  • How company wide project model, project plans and actual project status are referenced and formally maintained
  • Secure future re-planning in distributed software project.
  • How agile development practices support end user practices.
  • Demonstration of the complexity that must be addressed in in-house software development for continuously changing business demands. 
  • Developing Usability test package for the general end-user in telecommunication bransch.

Use-orientation goes beyond Human Computer Interaction. The use-quality of software is defined not only by interface design, but also by the design of functionality and its integration into work and business practices. Optimally, software and the use context is developed "hand-in-hand". Requirements are under re-design throughout the software application's entire life cycle. Optimally, designs and architectures are so flexible and extendable that they can make claims to be successful, adaptable, and end-user tailorable business applications. In the endeavor to fulfill such ambitions, software development practice must allow for growth of software through evolution-based cooperation, hi and lo fidelity prototyping, and cooperation between developers, categories of users, and other affected stakeholders. The product of software development, the processes that lead to it and the context of use, as well as its change and development, have to be regarded as interlaced domains of reality. U-ODD endeavors to take these interlaced domains of reality into account, and as a consequence cuts across the sub-divisions of software engineering.

The social element refers to software practitioners and their communicational and interactive achievements to unfold and utilize their own methods, needed to understand each others' software development practice. Peoples use of the above methods includes interpreting behavior. When doing this they cannot "just look at" the phenomenon since they have to impute motive and rationale to actions in order to explain them. The fact that people often do not say and sometimes cannot say what they mean adds to this complexity. Fortunately, despite those described contingencies inherent in human communication and interaction, people still manage to recognize and handle their daily world as well as relate to the interests and claims of others. Our interest in this subject lies in understanding how is this done? and to use that knowledge to adjust and improve the methods, techniques and processes that we engineers have developed. This challenge includes the field methods used to reveal them, as well as the cooperative method to ensure that improvement suggestions are useful for software development practitioners.

To be able to handle the above challenges and produce promised guidelines and methods based on use-orientation and the knowledge of the social element we:

  • Focus our research on actual work practices of software development.
  • Use qualitative social science methods. 
  • Use qualitative social science concepts and epistemological claims.
  • Use empirical findings to adapt and further develop methods together with practitioners. 

Look at methods, techniques and tools promoting the design of adaptable software that can be tailored to a developing work practice.

For more information, please use the links in the menu or contact the Research Group Leader: Dr Kari Rönkkö, email.

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