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Patterns for Evaluating Usability of Domain-Specific LanguagesAbstract:
For years the development of software artifacts was the sole domain of developers and project managers. However, experience has taught us that the users play a very important role in software development and construction. The inclusion of the Domain Experts directly in the development cycle is a very important characteristic of Domain-Specific Languages, as they have often an important role in making and constraining the domain of the language. DSLs are credited with increased productivity and ease of use, but this fact is hardly ever proven. Moreover, Usability tests are frequently only performed at the final stages of the project when changes have a significant impact on the budget. To help prevent this, in this paper we present a pattern language for evaluating the usability of DSLs. These patterns can help show how to use an iterative usability validation development strategy to produce DSLs that can achieve a high degree of Usability.