On the Impact of Aesthetic Defects on the Maintainability of Mobile Graphical User Interfaces: An Empirical Study

Abstract

As the development of Android mobile applications continues to grow and to follow up its high increase in demand and market share, there is a need for automating the evaluation of Graphical Mobile User Interfaces (GMUI) to detect any associated defects as they are perceived to lead to bad overall usability. Although, there is growth in research targeting the assessment of mobile user interfaces, there is a lack of studies assessing their impact on quality. The goal of this work is to analyze the impact of defects on the maintainability of user interfaces by studying the connection between the existence of defects and the change-proneness of user interfaces. We empirically study the impact of 8 aesthetics defects in 56 releases of 5 Android applications and examine the diffuseness of GMUI defects throughout mobile apps evolution. Then, we investigate whether infected classes are changed more frequently, and have a larger change-size than other non-infected classes in terms of Change Frequency (CF) and Change-Size (CS). Moreover, we studied the survivability and co-occurrences of GMUI defects in order to prioritize their corrections. Our empirical validation confirms that the infected user interfaces are more prone to undergo many changes than other user interfaces, and there are some severe aesthetic defects still exists even after makingmany improvements in the code that may need more maintenance efforts.

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Correspondence to Makram Soui.

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Soui, M., Chouchane, M., Bessghaier, N. et al. On the Impact of Aesthetic Defects on the Maintainability of Mobile Graphical User Interfaces: An Empirical Study. Inf Syst Front (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10796-020-10100-w

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Keywords

  • Aesthetics defects
  • Change-size
  • Correlation
  • Evolution of Android GMUI