On the usability assessment of the graphical user interface related to a digital pattern software tool
Design team belonging to powertrain divisions can speed up the process of managing information, within gearbox design activities, by adopting digital pattern tools. These tools, belonging to a knowledge-based engineering (KBE) system, can assist engineers in re-using company knowledge in order to improve time-consuming tasks as retrieval and selection of previous architectures and to modify and virtually test a new gearbox design. A critical point in the development of a KBE system is the usability of user's interface to demonstrate effective reduction of development time and satisfaction in its use. In this paper, the authors face the problem of usability improvement of the graphical user interface (GUI) of the tool belonging to the KBE system and previously proposed. An approach based on analytic hierarchy process and multiple-criteria decision analysis is used. A participatory test is performed for evaluating the usability index of the GUI. Taking into account the data analysis, some changes are carried out and a new GUI release is validated through new experimentations.