Usability and user-centered design in scientific software development

Catriona Macaulay, David Sloan, Xinyi Jiang, Paula Forbes, Scott Loynton, Jason R. Swedlow, Peter Gregor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Usability is a growing issue for developers of scientific software. Scientists seeking software to support scientific discovery and funding bodies seeking better return on investment increase the pressure to produce scientific software that has an impact beyond a limited set of users (that is, scientists in a single lab). However, developing software for even a limited set of users is challenging, and commercial design techniques are rarely available for scientific software development in academic settings. Lessons learned from a case study in which developers integrated usability and user-centered design (UCD) methods into an image-data-management software suite for cell biologists might be useful to others working in similar contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-102
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Software
Issue number1
Early online date22 Dec 2008
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Usability
  • Scientific Software Development
  • Design best practices
  • Software development lifecycle (SDLC)


Dive into the research topics of 'Usability and user-centered design in scientific software development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this