How developers discuss human-centric issues in GitHub

Many software systems fail to meet the needs of the diverse end users in society and are prone to cause problems, such as accessibility and usability issues.

Some of these problems partially stem from failure to consider the characteristics, limitations, and abilities of diverse end users during software development. We categorise these as ‘human-centric issues’.

Despite their importance, there is limited understanding of the types of human-centric issues encountered by developers. However, in-depth knowledge is critical to designing software systems that better meet diverse end user needs.

This project aims to provide insights for software development and research communities on which human-centric issues are a topic of discussion on GitHub. We conducted an empirical study by extracting and manually analysing 1,691 issue comments from 12 projects, ranging from small to large and those designed for challenged end users, e.g.Visually impaired and dyslexic users. Our analysis shows that eight categories of human-centric issues are discussed by developers:

  • Inclusiveness
  • Privacy & Security
  • Compatibility
  • Location & Language
  • Preference
  • Satisfaction
  • Emotional Aspects
  • Accessibility.

Guided by our findings, we highlight some implications and possible future paths to further understand and incorporate human-centric issues in software development to design solutions that meet the needs of diverse end users in society.

Dataset: Human-centric labelled issue comments and app reviews, and the results of machine learning and deep learning tools as well as survey responses collected from developers: Supporting Developers in Addressing Human-centric Issues in Mobile Apps

Presentation: How are Diverse End-user Human-centric Issues Discussed on GitHub?

Project Lead

  • Dr Hourieh Khalajzadeh

How developers/users discuss HC issues diagram