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Strategic managers and IS professionals who are responsible for specifying, acquiring and producing quality software products are not supported by the endless flow of new international standards, legislation and user requirements. In order to clarify the current situation for everybody concerned with software quality, and especially those interested in usability, there is a need for a new review and evaluation of the various strands that contribute to software quality. By way of review this paper recalls the original software quality factors which were defined twenty years ago by McCall et al. and presents a methodical analysis and synthesis of three modern strands which influence these factors. The three strands relate to software quality, statutory obligations and human-computer interaction. All three strands rely on well respected sources which include the European Council Directive on minimum safety and health requirements for work with display screen equipment, ISO/DIS 9241-10 (1993) and ISO/FDIS 9000-3 (1997). This synthesis produces a new set of quality factors, and the paper provides a new perspective of software usability by showing that the external quality factors in this new set are the usability attributes of a software product. New attributes like suitability, adaptability, functionality, installability and safety are identified and other attributes like usability and integrity are clarified within the three strands.
Fitzpatrick, Ronan and Higgins, Catherine: Usable software and its attributes: a synthesis of software quality: European Community law and human-computer interaction. People and Computers XIII. Proceedings of the HCI'98 Conference published by Springer, London, United Kingdom.