Usability analysis of the channel application programming interface
Brown, Christopher A.
Darken, Rudolph P.
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The Channel Application Programming Interface (API) provides a tool for loosely coupling components in Component Based Design (CBD) projects. In the thesis that proposed and developed the API, the author provided a technical analysis of the API's performance with respect to communication metrics. However, only the author/designer has ever used the API; hence, no analysis was accomplished with respect to Usability attributes. The project sponsor desires public release of the API. However, a usability analysis is first required to ensure wide acceptance and use of the API. In order to analyze the API, an analysis method and associated metrics are required. Little work has been done in the field of Human Computer Interface (HCI) with respect to treating an API as an interface and programmers as the end users. This thesis follows an IEEE published test protocol and well known HCI approaches to test the API for general usability attributes as well as to investigate specific features of the API. Specifically, the analysis will test the API's ability to explain itself during first-time exposure in order to gain acceptance. The results from testing the API are used to determine necessary enhancements to the API and its documentation.
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