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On the Usability of Object-Oriented Design Patterns for a Better Software Quality

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Software design patterns incarnate expert knowledge distilled from the practical experience in object-oriented design, in a compact and reusable form. The article presents a quantitative study of the usability of the object-oriented software design patterns (known as Gang of Four patterns) applied for improving the testability, maintainability, extendibility, readability, reliability, and performance efficiency of software applications. We received 82 usable responses from software professionals in Bulgaria, with 65 of them addressing both the usability and recognition of each one of the Gang of Four patterns, together with their impact on important software quality characteristics. As well, we studied the approach of each software developer in choosing a particular design pattern to use in order to solve a problem. We found statistically significant differences between the most recognized and most useful patterns and between the most unrecognized and most useless patterns, split into creational, structural, and behavioral groups.

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Computer Sciences, Information Technology