Lessons learned from user interface development and evaluation on an engineering software

Suet Wa Choi, David C. Hsu, Hung-lin Chi, Shih Chung Kang, Shang Hsien Hsieh

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


SERCB (Seismic Evaluation of Reinforced-Concrete Building) is a computer software package used to estimate the seismic capacity of a building. Often long procedures are required to enter data collected from diverse sources. Therefore, it is important to design a user interface (UI) so users can work effectively and efficiently. In this research, a systematic evaluation method was developed. We first sampled 14 users from target user groups, and conducted usability tests. From the interview and observation of the users' behaviors in performing assigned tasks, we collected both qualitative and quantitative data. The usability problems of SERCB were qualitatively defined from interviews and observations. An equation was developed to quantitatively estimate the overall usability of this user interface.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputing in Civil Engineering - Proceedings of the 2007 ASCE International Workshop on Computing in Civil Engineering
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event2007 ASCE International Workshop on Computing in Civil Engineering - Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Duration: 24 Jul 200727 Jul 2007


Conference2007 ASCE International Workshop on Computing in Civil Engineering
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPittsburgh, PA


  • seismic evaluation
  • usability test
  • user interface design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications

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