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Software architects have techniques to deal with many quality attributes such as performance, reliability, and maintainability. Usability, however, has traditionally been concerned primarily with presentation and not been a concern of software architects beyond separating the user interface from the remainder of the application. In this paper, we present usability-supporting architectural patterns. Each pattern describes a usability concern that is not supported by separation alone. For each concern, a usability-supporting architectural pattern provides the forces from the characteristics of the task and environment, the human, and the state of the software to motivate an implementation independent solution cast in terms of the responsibilities that must be fulfilled to satisfy the forces. Furthermore, each pattern includes a sample solution implemented in the context of an overriding separation based pattern such as J2EE Model View Controller.
Date of Conference: 23-28 May 2004