Towards a Human Values Dashboard for Software Development: An Exploratory Study
Background: There is a growing awareness of the importance of human values (e.g., inclusiveness, privacy) in software systems. However, there are no practical tools to support the integration of human values during software development. We argue that a tool that can identify human values from software development artefacts and present them to varying software development roles can (partially) address this gap. We refer to such a tool as human values dashboard. Further to this, our understanding of such a tool is limited.
Aims: This study aims to (1) investigate the possibility of using a human values dashboard to help address human values during software development, (2) identify possible benefits of using a human values dashboard, and (3) elicit practitioners’ needs from a human values dashboard.
Method: We conducted an exploratory study by interviewing 15 software practitioners. A dashboard prototype was developed to support the interview process. We applied thematic analysis to analyse the collected data.
Results: Our study finds that a human values dashboard would be useful for the development team (e.g., project manager, developer, tester). Our participants acknowledge that development artefacts, especially requirements documents and issue discussions, are the most suitable source for identifying values for the dashboard. Our study also yields a set of high-level user requirements for a human values dashboard (e.g., it shall allow determining values priority of a project).
Conclusions: Our study suggests that a values dashboard is potentially used to raise awareness of values and support values-based decision-making in software development. Future work will focus on addressing the requirements and using issue discussions as potential artefacts for the dashboard.