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Making Sense of Usability: Organizational Change and Sensemaking when Introducing User-Centred Systems Design in Public Authorities
Uppsala Universitet. (HCI/Department of Information Technology)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7662-9687
2009 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Department of Information Technology: Uppsala universitet, 2009. , 48 p.
Series
IT licentiate theses, ISSN 1404-5117 ; 2009-002
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-59917OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-59917DiVA: diva2:476648
Note
QC 20120208Available from: 2012-02-08 Created: 2012-01-12 Last updated: 2012-02-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. User-Centred Systems Design as Organizational Change: A Longitudinal Action Research Project to Improve Usability and the Computerized Work Environment in a Public Authority
Open this publication in new window or tab >>User-Centred Systems Design as Organizational Change: A Longitudinal Action Research Project to Improve Usability and the Computerized Work Environment in a Public Authority
Show others...
2009 (English)In: International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction, ISSN 1548-3908, E-ISSN 1548-3916, Vol. 5, no 3, 13-53 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a longitudinal case study in which six Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) researchers worked extensively in an action research cooperation with a public authority over a period of four years. The purpose of the cooperation was to increase the focus on usability in the authority, and the main research question was how user centered systems design and increased awareness on work environment in relation to computer usage could promote organizational change in a public authority. The overarching research approach in this project has been action research and the data used in this paper is derived from an evaluation performed at the end of the project, as well as through our experiences from working with the project. The results involve aspects relating to organizational issues, management support, strategic documents and end-user participation. Moreover the results include methodological support for bringing users and developers closer together and individual and organizational attitudes to development. The purpose of this paper is to make some general conclusions on how to bring about change when approaching a large public authority with the purpose of introducing usability and user centered systems design.

National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-47958 (URN)10.4018/jthi.2009070102 (DOI)
Note
QC 20111118Available from: 2011-11-15 Created: 2011-11-15 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
2. Introducing usability roles in public authorities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Introducing usability roles in public authorities
2008 (English)In: NordiCHI 2008: Building Bridges - 5th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education, 2008, 113-122 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

One of the most common ways of introducing usability into development work in a public authority is by employing a usability professional. But how successful is this strategy when it comes to increasing focus on usability in the organization and how successful have these usability professionals been in introducing usability activities into the development work in their organizations?

This paper is based on five case studies on the introduction of usability professionals in public authorities in Sweden. These different ways of introducing usability are discussed and analyzed. Based on this data we draw conclusions about what to consider in order to achieve a successful introduction of usability. Interviews with nine usability professionals were conducted all of which were recorded, analyzed and condensed into the case studies presented. One lesson learned from the case studies is the importance of a formal title as it shapes interpretations of what usability is about. Another issue discussed is the usefulness of a formal job description, and personal characteristics of the person working with usability. Based on the case studies we draw the conclusion that a senior usability professional is to be preferred since introduction of usability often implies organizational change as well as conflicts and discussions at a management level. Another conclusion that can be drawn from the studies is that usability work is more successful in the short perspective if it contributes directly to the design and program code instead of focusing on strategic levels such as policy, evaluation of existing systems and method development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education, 2008
Keyword
Usability professional, usability expert, case study, public authority
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-50745 (URN)10.1145/1463160.1463173 (DOI)978-1-59593-704-9 (ISBN)
Conference
NordiCHI '08. Lund. 20 October 2008 - 22 October 2008
Note
QC 20111208Available from: 2011-12-07 Created: 2011-12-07 Last updated: 2012-02-08Bibliographically approved
3. Hello World! - Experiencing Usability Methods without Usability Expertise
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hello World! - Experiencing Usability Methods without Usability Expertise
2009 (English)In: HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION - INTERACT 2009, PT II, PROCEEDINGS, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2009, 550-565 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

How do you do usability work when no usability expertise is available? What happens in an organization when system developers, with no previous HCI knowledge, after a 3-day course, start applying usability methods, and particularly field studies? In order to answer these questions qualitative data were gathered through participatory observations, a feed back survey, field study documentation and interviews from 47 system developers from a public authority. Our results suggest that field studies enhance the developer's understanding of the user perspective, and provide a more holistic overview of the use situation, but that some developers were unable to interpret their observations and see solutions to the users' problems. The field study method was very much appreciated and has now become standard operating procedure within the organization. However, although field studies may be useful, it does not replace the need for usability pro fes sion als, as their knowledge is essential for more complex observations, analysis and for keeping the focus on usability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2009
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743
Keyword
Field studies - ethnography - usability - user centered systems design - case study - public authority - sense making
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-50727 (URN)10.1007/978-3-642-03658-3_60 (DOI)000270204900060 ()978-3-642-03657-6 (ISBN)
Conference
12th IFIP International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. Uppsala, SWEDEN. AUG 24-28, 2009
Note
QC 20111208Available from: 2011-12-07 Created: 2011-12-07 Last updated: 2013-01-18Bibliographically approved

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