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Web Engineering

The research area Web Engineering focuses systems, models and processes that support the development and operation of Web applications. Web Engineering is a sub field of Software Engineering that analyses the special challenges of Web application production by applying systematic engineering approaches. 

An increased complexity rises from the necessity to integrate design and development approaches from the areas of software engineering, hypermedia, network engineering and information systems. At the same time the requirements for Web applications and the Web development processes differ compared to conventional software interfaces. The multitude of roles Web applications can play e.g. as mass media, social media or hypertext systems require a multidisciplinary team and much more flexibility regarding changing requirements.

Key aspects of Web Engineering are the development and evaluation of novel component-based systems that reduce the implementation effort and raise the quality by supporting reuse. Web Engineering also strives to improve development processes by applying scientific methods systematically for analyzing, comparing and assessing process models. 

One key aspect of the research at the SCC in the field of Web Engineering is the development of methods and tools to improve the quality of Web applications. This includes the development of objective quality measures, e.g. to capture the maintainability and reusability of CSS-Code or the suitability of taxonomies for navigation. In this context we focus especially on methods for improving the usability of information-centric Web sites. In such a scenario no direct user actions as the creation of an account or a purchase can be used to determine the conversion rate. Thus we are researching how for example lost users or users searching for certain information can be recognized by extending existing methods for mousetracking or analyzing clickstreams.