User Involvement in Software Evolution Practice: A Case Study

Dennis Pagano and Bernd Br├╝gge

TU Munich, Germany

Track: Software Engineering in Practice
Session: Case Studies
User involvement in software engineering has been researched over the last three decades. However, existing studies concentrate mainly on early phases of user-centered design projects, while little is known about how professionals work with post-deployment end-user feedback. In this paper we report on an empirical case study that explores the current practice of user involvement during software evolution. We found that user feedback contains important information for developers, helps to improve software quality and to identify missing features. In order to assess its relevance and potential impact, developers need to analyze the gathered feedback, which is mostly accomplished manually and consequently requires high effort. Overall, our results show the need for tool support to consolidate, structure, analyze, and track user feedback, particularly when feedback volume is high. Our findings call for a hypothesis-driven analysis of user feedback to establish the foundations for future user feedback tools.