Usability improvements to the e-Science Central SDK

Success?

The project has been a great success based on the original goals of replacing the original SDK with a new integrated online tool as part of the rest of e-SC. This we feel has increased the usability of the SDK significantly. Before this work the development of new blocks for e-SC normally required intervention from the original development team to set up the SDK for the user and then work with them for the development of new blocks. Changes to the core of e-SC and network issues regularly broke the SDK and required further intervention, which often decreased the chances that users would pursue the use of e-SC.

In terms of the learnability of the new SDK, the introduction of the wizard support has greatly reduced the barrier to entry for this work. Allowing users to progress with less need to have significant support from the e-SC development team.

As the development of this new SDK was such a step-change from the original SDK it was difficult to derive quantitative metrics to mark its success. Such metrics could only be defined in terms of the number of users who develop their own blocks or the reduction in help requests for block development. In the short scale of the project this was not possible to observe, especially as the new SDK was only available towards the end of the project. However, more qualitative results have been possible by demonstrating the new SDK to users of the original SDK and those whom we surveyed originally about the SDK. The feedback about the new SDK was very positive.

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