Emphasizing usability in modeling software

Emphasizing usability in modeling software

The historical tendency has been to develop modeling software with limited consideration for the end users, who are frequently not modelers but subject-matter experts. Even if the software provides access to a calibrated model, which runs fast and makes accurate predictions, it may not be used by its intended audience when usability is overlooked. In this project, we focus on establishing the key usability principles for modeling software in specific disciplines (policy making and socio-environmental management). Based on these principles, we evaluate and improve the software. Through this process, we seek to move away from the proliferation of models that die on a shelf and instead ensure that models can be effectively used to generate evidence-based decisions.

Key references:

  • Giabbanelli, P.J., Flarsheim, R.A., Vesuvala, C.X., Drasic, L. (2016) Developing technology to support policymakers in taking a systems science approach to obesity and well-being. Obesity Reviews, 17:194-195.

Key collaborator:

  • Dr Steven Gray, Michigan State University, USA