Carnegie Mellon University

HCI Students Help OutSystems Improve Design of Software Tools

03-12-2009

HCI Students Help OutSystems Improve Design of Software Tools

A Santa Clara, Calif., software company is crediting a 2008 project by graduate students in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute with helping it enhance the user experience of its signature product.

OutSystems
says its joint, eight-month project with the team of master’s degree students has improved the overall user experience of its Agile Platform, which is used by web developers to build and manage business applications.

“Carnegie Mellon University’s excellence in user experience methodologies, and our own ideas and experience, have stimulated innovation throughout the company, leading to a better product for our customers and the industry,” said Carlos Alves, vice president of engineering for OutSystems.

All of the students — Gem Bleasdell, Korina Loumidi, Adam Matthews, Bharathi Pitti and Ceren Sakizli — subsequently earned their degrees and are now employed.

Following HCII methodology on experience-driven user design, the students studied the daily activities of Agile Platform users. This enabled the students to elicit user needs, motivations and overall reaction to the platform. With ergonomics, aesthetics and comfort in mind, the team then prototyped and tested their solutions to overcome the challenges experienced by users.

The company is continuing the research internally as it works to make further improvements.

“Collaborating with OutSystems was a terrific opportunity for our students to really apply their skills to a real-world application,” said Anind Dey, assistant professor of human-computer interaction. “We are thrilled with the outcome and the fact that the industry will benefit from this combined work and innovation with OutSystems.”

For more information, see the OutSystems news release, http://www.outsystems.com/agile/Content.aspx?ContentName=CMU_PR&FolderPath=%5cRoot%5cContents%5cCorporate%5cLandingPages%5cNews and the students’ project site, http://www.hcii.cs.cmu.edu/M-HCI/2008/OutSystems%20copy/index.html.

Byron Spice