This Masters thesis was part of the Qualipso project (Quality Platform for Open Source Software) whose main objective was to improve the reliability of free and open source software systems. Within such context, the focus of this research is one of the attributes of software quality: usability. The usability practices in free and open source software development are applied most often in projects sponsored by large companies or employing usability experts as team members. But on smaller projects in the community, generally composed by developers, it is rarely considered. However, usability is an essential attribute to the quality in use of a system.
Based on values shared between the communities of agile methods and free and open source software, this thesis proposes the adaptation of usability practices in the context of agile methods to the context of free and open source software communities. Through the study of the literature in the field, we gathered the main usability practices both within agile methods, as in free and open source software, and we classified according to User-Centered Design phases, describing each one with the format name-context-problem-solution-examples. The practices were explored in free and open source software projects, which enabled greater understanding of problems faced in real contexts. This experience resulted in the adaptation proposal of agile usability practices into the context of free and open source software communities. We describe the implementation of an action research in the Arquigrafia-Brazil project, a case study in the Mezuro project and the application of usability practices in four projects of the IME-USP FLOSS Competence Center.
Keywords: usability, user-centered design, UCD, user experience, UX, free and open source software, agile methods, agile usability, agile UCD, acceptance testing, best practices, usage pattern.