Efficiency boost all round
The success of this ITEA 2 project reduces total application costs by between 15% for complex
systems and 30% for information systems. A recent study1 demonstrated that more than 40%
user interface models were reused, resulting in a reduction of 55% of the size. Thanks to
UsiXML, non-developers can shape the user interface of any new interactive application by
specifying it in UsiXML, without requiring the programming skills usually found in mark-up and
programming languages. For instance, graphic artists can use UsiXML
prototyping tools to
demonstrate a future user interface without any programming. This project offers a practical
application of model-driven architecture (MDA) and engineering (MDE) that shows immediate
benefits in day-to-day software engineering.
Innovations in UsiXML will help European
software vendors and industrial systems makers to
increase productivity by about 20% in average software development and reduce development costs.
To give a concrete example, Defimedia, a Belgian SME, only needs 3 days to develop the back
office of its website with UsiXML instead of 2
weeks without UsiXML. These results reduce
time-to-market, speed up productivity, improve factorisation, accelerate change propagation and
enable better assessment of usability and accessibility.
A wide series of software supporting the language, the method and its multi-path process has
been developed by several partners, either for their own or their customers' use, or as a
publicly available contribution. The most significant industrial projects include a maritime
surveillance application on the French Atlantic coast, an application for a tourism federation
covering a Belgian province, an application for services available on a large palette of
smartphones and tablets supported by the largest Belgian internet service provider, and a
spin-off company, Estrategia 360 S.A. De C.V., which delivers services based on the language and
now has 10 employees. Some extensions have been developed for users with disabilities, for
The UsiXML language has now evolved to its most
mature version, V3.0, which is available
through a cloud computing platform called UsiCentral. This platform gathers a full range of
software starting from on-line model editors to code generators with a zero-install paradigm
for the customer (no plug-in, no add-on, no setup, no software or package install) and a
paying on-demand service.
And now, in 2018, five years after the end of the project, research and development efforts
are continuing for user interfaces of the most modern and available technologies, like those
based on gestures. The affordability of gesture acquisition devices and sensors (e.g.
Microsoft Kinect, Thalmic Myo armband, PS-tech's optical tracker) as well as the availability
of supporting software (e.g. MS Surface gesture collection, Myo basic gestures, 2D
/3D touch+air gestures) have launched a new generation of gesture user interfaces that is important
master the whole route from design to deployment for the ultimate benefit of end users. In
system-defined gestures included in these systems may differ significantly from user-defined
terms of usability or preference. But this is another story for the future...
1 International Journal of Human-Computer Studies vol 86 2016: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1071581915001470