Framework Design Papers

Steven Clarke (a usability researcher here at Microsoft) has published a set of very interesting papers discussing the core concepts of framework usability.   

I thought I'd collect them for your reading pleasure...

1. Dr. Dobbs article on Measuring Api Usability which introduce our approach to measuring API usability.  (Updated link from original post ).

2. The Journal of Visual Languages and Computing (volume 17 issue number 4) has an article on the Cognitive Dimensions framework that includes a section on how we apply the framework and the personas at Microsoft.

3. A short paper presented recently at a workshop in Germany on End User Programming. The paper is a briefly describe the three developer personas we design for. [Associated slide deck]

4. A paper from the Cognitive Dimensions workshop at the IEEE conference on Visual Languages in 2005. It gives a very simple and brief overview of how we profile personas using the framework but doesn’t describe the personas in detail.

Comments (11)

  1. Raphael says:

    Thanks you Brad  for posting this nice information.

    But there is a problem.

    We are receiving a "The requested URL could not be retrieved" while attempting to retrieve some files.

    Please check it and let us know when error has been  fixed.

    Usability  issues are very important.

    Lost files are:

    1.  Measuring Api Usability

    2. A short paper

    Bye and  please continue  in that way.

  2. Raphael says:


    Problem is host names cannot contain underscores.

    This is a file link.

    Please not _ in host name.




  3. Avner Kashtan says:

    Raphael: I’m guessing this is a problem with your browser or proxy. I’m having no problems with that link.

  4. Avner Kashtan says:

    Raphael: I’m guessing this is a problem with your browser or proxy. I’m having no problems with that link.

  5. Raphael says:

    Ok, thanks

    I think problem is  in proxy.

    I use Firefox, and IE does not open the link too.

  6. Raphael says:

    Please could somebody mail to my inbox following files???

    Definitely I cannot retrieve those files, I suppose organization proxy policies are causing this error to happen.

    Please send files to:

    Api usability is a critical issue during Api design.


  7. Thanks for collecting the links, Brad. Very helpful.

  8. John Doe says:

    The underscore is definitely the problem, cf. to RFC1035 which does not allow underscores in domain names. Thus our proxy rejects access to due to "Invalid URL", as it states, and enumerates "Illegal character in hostname; underscores are not allowed" as a possible reason.

  9. André Cardoso says:

    Same problem here too.

    I get an "Invalid URL" error in IE7:

    Some aspect of the requested URL is incorrect. Possible problems:

    Missing or incorrect access protocol (should be `http://” or similar)

    Missing hostname

    Illegal double-escape in the URL-Path

    Illegal character in hostname; underscores are not allowed

    If it is valid, can someone post the IP address?



  10. André Cardoso says:

    Apparently nslookup returns the IP:

    But the browser still refuses the URL.

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