Evaluating the Usability of State Chart Tools


A state chart is a type of diagram used in computer science and related fields to describe the behavior of systems. It is commonly used in Software Engineering to communicate and document a software architecture. In Model Driven Software Engineering, it is even a primary artifact during the entire software engineering process.
There are several tools available for creating such state charts: Rhapsody/Statemate by Rational, Enterprise Architect, Microsoft Visio, MagicDraw, ...
These tools can be classified into two groups:
The first group focuses on allowing users to draw state charts so they can be exported as an image for example.
The second group focuses on creating state charts as artifacts for the software development process. For example they can be used for simulations, verification, code generation, ...


  • Evaluate the usability of the tools listed above
  • Find examples for what is good in terms of usability
  • Find examples for what is bad in terms of usability


  • Interest in doing experiments with students (questionnaires and supervised use of the tools)


Michael Stegmaier