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Human-Centered Software Engineering

Continuous user involvement during the development of interactive software solutions is a subject of discussion within Human-Centered Software Engineering (HCSE). Approaches integrating Usability Engineering and Software Engineering are a major topic of our research. Currently, we focus on software development methods for digital assistance systems within the context of “Work 4.0” and investigate the acceptance and impacts of these systems on the employees.

MembersHolger Fischer, Gunnar Schomaker, Stefan Sauer

ContactHolger Fischer

Cooperation (u.a.)

  • Wincor Nixdorf International GmbH,
  • Schüco International KG,
  • Weidmüller GmbH & Co. KG,
  • Universität Bielefeld,
  • Diebold Nixdorf

Related Projects

  • itsowl-Arbeit40 – Arbeiten in der digitalen Welt (BMBF)
  • Arbeit 4.0 – Lösungen für die Arbeitswelt der Zukunft (EFRE.NRW)
  • Digital in NRW. Das Kompetenzzentrum für den Mittelstand (BMWi)
  • itsowl-TT-IPPS - Entwicklung eines intelligenten Planungssystems für parametrierbare Systemfassaden (BMBF)
  • itsowl-TT-Energy2use – Nutzerorientierte Energieeffizienzsysteme (BMBF)


Nowadays, a technological development boost can be observed within information technology and its application possibilities, e.g. industrial manufacturing. This development results in a digitization of economic processes as well as human workflows. Furthermore, the Work 4.0 discussion about the level of digital assistance and automation leads to an ongoing change of work tasks and employees’ responsibilities. Decision-makers will have to focus on organizational, human as well as on technological aspects to ensure organizational and employee’s acceptance of digital solutions likewise. Despite all efforts, today’s digital systems still lack of quality with regards to missing or unused functionality and bad usability. Thus, current software engineering methods as well as organizational cultures seem to be insufficient to address the challenges of the digital transformation. Therefore, we are working on iterative approaches combining software engineering paradigms like human-centered design, agility and DevOps to address this challenge. One objective is to establish an employee-centered participation, where employees co-create the change toward the digitization of their work. Furthermore, decision-makers will be supported in their decisions as well as enabled to build digital tools that are accepted by their employees and are of value for the company itself. 

Research Topics:

  • Human-Centered Design (HCD)
  • Individual and organizational acceptance criteria in Work 4.0
  • Quality models for Usability and User Experience

The University for the Information Society