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Behaviour and Information Technology 21

Editors:Tom Stewart
Publisher:Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Standard No:ISSN 0144-929X
Links:Table of Contents
  1. BIT 2002 Volume 21 Issue 1
  2. BIT 2002 Volume 21 Issue 2
  3. BIT 2002 Volume 21 Issue 3
  4. BIT 2002 Volume 21 Issue 4
  5. BIT 2002 Volume 21 Issue 5
  6. BIT 2002 Volume 21 Issue 6

BIT 2002 Volume 21 Issue 1

The role of children in the design of new technology BIBA 1-25
  Allison Druin
This paper suggests a framework for understanding the roles that children can play in the technology design process, particularly in regards to designing technologies that support learning. Each role, user, tester, informant and design partner has been defined based upon a review of the literature and the author's own laboratory research experiences. This discussion does not suggest that any one role is appropriate for all research or development needs. Instead, by understanding this framework the reader may be able to make more informed decisions about the design processes they choose to use with children in creating new technologies. This paper will present for each role a historical overview, research and development methods, as well as the strengths, challenges and unique contributions associated with children in the design process.
The expanding telephone number Part 1: Keying briefly presented multiple-digit numbers BIBA 27-38
  Knut Nordby; Ruth Kjaersti Raanaas; Svein Magnussen
The aim of this study was to examine immediate memory performance for multiple digit numbers in a practical read-and-key or listen-and-key task, and to evaluate the most effective ways of presenting multiple digit numbers. Variables measured were list length (4-10 digits), presentation mode (visual simultaneously, auditory), grouping format (1+1, 2+2, 3+3) and presentation time (0.5 sec/digit, 1.0 sec/digit). A total of 144 subjects participated. Not surprisingly, list length is a vital factor in recall. A longer presentation time was advantageous for both modes, while an effect of mode was observed only for the ungrouped numbers, where the auditory condition was inferior. The serial position curves showed primacy and recency with auditory presentation, and primacy and a superior performance on the middle part of the list using visual presentation. Local serial position effects revealed that ungrouped numbers presented visually are subjectively grouped in twos. The results have broad implications in the human factors area.
The expanding telephone number Part 2: Age variations in immediate memory for multiple-digit numbers BIBA 39-45
  Ruth Kjaersti Raanaas; Knut Nordby; Svein Magnussen
Immediate ordered recall of multiple-digit numbers was investigated in a practical read-and-key or listenand-key task for three age groups whose mean ages were 25.2 years (range 23-27), 44.1 years (range 42-44) and 63.6 years (range 61-68), all recruited from students and faculty staff at the University of Oslo. The two younger groups performed at comparable levels on the immediate memory task, surpassing the performance of the older group for both visual and auditory presentation of the digit-strings. Increasing the presentation time of the numbers affected the young and older age groups similarly by improving the memory performance. Analyses of the serial position curves revealed an enhancement of the well-known modality effect in the older subjects. The overall decline in memory performance observed at the age of 65 should be taken into account in design of communication technology for the general public.
Clinical acceptance of a low-cost portable system for postural assessment BIBA 47-57
  P. Van Schaik; J. A. Bettany-Saltikov; J. G. Warren
The drive towards evidence-based practice in health-care requires changes in work practices and supporting technology. In response to the requirement to provide evidence, the current research proposes a new low-cost system for 3-D postural assessment. The aims of the study were (1) to assess the technology acceptance model (Davis 1993) for the new system and (2) to derive user requirements with user involvement early in the development process. A prototype system was developed and demonstrated to physiotherapists. Technology acceptance was assessed using standardized questions (Davis and Venkatesh 1996) and user needs were assessed with open-ended questions. Relations between the technology acceptance components confirmed findings of previous research, with perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness identified as pivotal factors in clinical acceptance, and implications for design were drawn. Specific user requirements for system development were derived from the qualitative results. The prospects for computer-aided quantitative assessment of posture are discussed.
SODPM: a sequence-oriented decision process model for unstructured group decision problems BIBA 59-69
  Chien-Hsing Wu
Many approaches to the solutions of modern unstructured decision problems mainly involve modelling, information technology and group behaviour. The work of group decision-making can be viewed as a type of process plan that is reflected by its problem structure within which the thinking space is wide and innovative. This paper presents a Sequence-Oriented Decision Process Model (SODPM) that is based on the defined sequence of problem elements to help solve unstructured problems. A GDSSP (Group Decision Support System for Personnel Promotion) that embeds a predefined mechanism to perform decision process, decision model and decision choice is developed to experimentally demonstrate the SODPM. Empirical evaluation was conducted to derive the results for the research problems that include efficiency and group satisfaction. There were remarkable results: the SODPM can serve as a facilitative vehicle for opinion convergence and group satisfaction is highly positive. While the demonstrated domain for the example presented is personnel promotion, the proposed SODPM can be utilized to help solve the similar class of unstructured problems in other domains also.
Determinants of academic use of the Internet: a structural equation model BIBA 71-86
  Afzaal H. Seyal; Mohd. Noah Abd. Rahman; Md. Mahbubur Rahim
The last decade of the 20th century brought radical changes in information and communication technology. Internet usage is being widely researched in the business world. However, the use of the Internet in academic settings in general and in vocational and technical establishment in particular is a neglected area. Successful use of the Internet is largely dependent upon the user's behaviour that, in turn, affects their attitudes. Even when remarkable opportunities exist for the deployment of technology, adverse attitude can inhibit use. Keeping this in mind, a survey of 166 academics of four technical and vocational colleges was conducted to study the attitudes of academics toward the use of the Internet. This study develops a model and validates two specific attitudinal variables -- perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use -- which are hypothesized to be fundamental determinants of use of the Internet. Adding two more variables -- such as task characteristics and computer exposure -- test the parsimony of the model further. A structural equation modelling technique is used to validate the model. The study confirmed that 79% of academics are using the Internet. Computer experience, perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use remain to be fundamental determinants of attitude formation. No other variables have been found to be significant.

BIT 2002 Volume 21 Issue 2

Examining children's reading performance and preference for different computer-displayed text BIBA 87-96
  Michael L. Bernard; Barbara S. Chaparro; Melissa M. Mills; Charles G. Halcomb
This study investigated how common online text affects reading performance of elementary school-age children by examining the actual and perceived readability of four computer-displayed typefaces at 12- and 14-point sizes. Twenty-seven children, ages 9 to 11, were asked to read eight children's passages and identify erroneous/substituted words while reading. Comic Sans MS, Arial and Times New Roman typefaces, regardless of size, were found to be more readable (as measured by a reading efficiency score) than Courier New. No differences in reading speed were found for any of the typeface combinations. In general, the 14-point size and the examined sans serif typefaces were perceived as being the easiest to read, fastest, most attractive, and most desirable for school-related material. In addition, participants significantly preferred Comic Sans MS and 14-point Arial to 12-point Courier. Recommendations for appropriate typeface combinations for children reading on computers are discussed.
The limits of shape constancy: point-to-point mapping of perspective projections of flat figures BIBA 97-104
  Simone Moran; David Leiser
The present experiments investigate point-to-point mapping of perspective transformations of 2D outline figures under diverse viewing conditions: binocular free viewing, monocular perspective with 2D cues masked by an optic tunnel, and stereoptic viewing through an optic tunnel. The first experiment involved upright figures, and served to determine baseline point-to-point mapping accuracy, which was found to be very good. Three shapes were used: square, circle and irregularly round. The main experiment, with slanted figures, involved only two shapes -- square and irregularly shaped -- showed at several slant degrees. Despite the accumulated evidence for shape constancy when the outline of perspective projections is considered, metric perception of the inner structure of such projections was quite limited. Systematic distortions were found, especially with more extreme slants, and attributed to the joint effect of several factors: anchors, 3D information, and slant underestimation. Contradictory flatness cues did not detract from performance, while stereoptic information improved it.
Effects of the transition to a client-centred team organization in administrative surveying work BIBA 105-116
  Gunvor Gard; Kari Lindstrom; Margareta Dallner
A new work organization was introduced in administrative surveying work in Sweden during 1998. The new work organization implied a transition to a client-centred team-based organization and required a change in competence from specialist to generalist knowledge as well as a transition to a new information technology, implying a greater integration within the company. The aim of this study was to follow the surveyors for two years from the start of the transition and investigate how perceived consequences of the transition, job, organizational factors, well-being and effectiveness measures changed between 1998 and 2000. The Teamwork Profile and QPS Nordic questionnaire were used. The 205 surveyors who participated in all three study phases constituted the study group. The result showed that surveyors who perceived that they were working as generalists rated the improvements in job and organizational factors significantly higher than those who perceived that they were not yet generalists. Improvements were noted in 2000 in quality of service to clients, time available to handle a case and effectiveness of teamwork in a transfer to a team-based work organization group, cohesion and continuous improvement practices -- for example, learning by doing, mentoring and guided delegation -- were important to improve the social effectiveness of group work.
An experimental evaluation of comprehensibility aspects of knowledge structures derived through induction techniques: a case study of industrial fault diagnosis BIBA 117-135
  Tom Kontogiannis; Vassilis Moustakis
Machine induction has been extensively used in order to develop knowledge bases for decision support systems and predictive systems. The extent to which developers and domain experts can comprehend these knowledge structures and gain useful insights into the basis of decision making has become a challenging research issue. This article examines the knowledge structures generated by the C4.5 induction technique in a fault diagnostic task and proposes to use a model of human learning in order to guide the process of making comprehensive the results of machine induction. The model of learning is used to generate hierarchical representations of diagnostic knowledge by adjusting the level of abstraction and varying the goal structures between 'shallow' and 'deep' ones. Comprehensibility is assessed in a global way in an experimental comparison where subjects are required to acquire the knowledge structures and transfer to new tasks. This method of addressing the issue of comprehensibility appears promising especially for machine induction techniques that are rather inflexible with regard to the number and sorts of interventions allowed to system developers.
Effectiveness of user testing and heuristic evaluation as a function of performance classification BIBA 137-143
  Limin Fu; Gavriel Salvendy; Lori Turley
For different levels of user performance, different types of information are processed and users will make different types of errors. Based on the error's immediate cause and the information being processed, usability problems can be classified into three categories. They are usability problems associated with skill-based, rule-based and knowledge-based levels of performance. In this paper, a user interface for a Web-based software program was evaluated with two usability evaluation methods, user testing and heuristic evaluation. The experiment discovered that the heuristic evaluation with human factor experts is more effective than user testing in identifying usability problems associated with skill-based and rule-based levels of performance. User testing is more effective than heuristic evaluation in finding usability problems associated with the knowledge-based level of performance. The practical application of this research is also discussed in the paper.
Development and validation of user-adaptive navigation and information retrieval tools for an intranet portal organizational memory information system BIBA 145-154
  Yong Gu Ji; Gavriel Salvendy
Based on previous research and properties of organizational memory, a conceptual model for navigation and retrieval functions in an Intranet portal organizational memory information system was proposed, and two human-centred features (memory structure map and history-based tool) were developed to support user's navigation and retrieval in a well-known organizational memory. To test two hypotheses concerning the validity of the conceptual model and two human-centred features, an experiment was conducted with 30 subjects. Testing of the two hypotheses indicated the following: (1) the memory structure map's users showed 29% better performance in navigation, and (2) the history-based tool's users outperformed by 34% in identifying information. The results of the study suggest that a conceptual model and two human-centred features could be used in an user-adaptive interface design to improve user's performance in an intranet portal organizational memory information system.

BIT 2002 Volume 21 Issue 3

New type of standard for accessibility, designed to foster the competition and innovation of designers, developers, and project and business management BIBA 155-169
  Charles N. Abernethy
This paper describes the many beneficiaries of accessibility to IT, creating a multifaceted business opportunity. Evolution is underway as some organizations and governments develop and adopt accessibility standards and regulations. But organized planning, design and development of technology solutions require improved tactics and strategies. The very recent US Section 508 is a new and novel regulatory marketing strategy in the evolution of standards. This regulatory standard's effectiveness dependents upon the 'innovation and divergent thinking' of those directly involved in product design. Designers, developers and their management are most comfortable with an analytical structure based on improved definition and measurement. Research will improve understanding of the human performance requirements of the client audience. Research and standards should continue but certain areas are in need of more immediate focus, e.g. human performance requirements in cognition.
Automated telephone answering systems and aging BIBA 171-184
  Louise Dulude
Surveys about automated telephone answering systems, known as interactive voice response systems or IVRs, report high levels of dissatisfaction, especially among older users. To identify the problems IVR users experience, 22 community-dwelling senior women and 22 female university students were monitored while they performed the same six real IVR tasks. As expected, old age had a negative impact on performance, but seniors were polarized into very poor and very good performers. Seniors gave lower usability ratings than young people; only young users gave high ratings to the one voice-activated system. Users' problems were mostly caused by design flaws in the IVR systems, especially ambiguous choices or instructions, and too-rapid automated voices. Young and old participants had similar complaints, but most young users overcame all difficulties, while the majority of seniors failed because of age-related losses in capacities. The solution is not special products for the old, but universal design that will make IVRs and other technological products more usable for everyone.
Critical design factors for successful e-commerce systems BIBA 185-199
  Jinwoo Kim; Jungwon Lee
The primary goal of this paper is to identify critical design factors that have substantial effects on the performance of e-commerce systems. This paper presents a theoretical model that examines the relationships among detailed design factors, perceived quality level and final performance of e-commerce systems. Two consecutive empirical studies were conducted to verify the theoretical model. Results from these studies reveal that the information phase among four transaction phases was the most influential in the final performance of e-commerce systems. Among the myriad design factors related to the information phase, product-related information, depth and variety of the system structure, variety of list view for products, consistency of product and background presentation, and variety of presentation for product information were all found to be closely related to the perceived quality level. This paper ends with the theoretical and practical implications of the study results.
Expandable indexes vs. sequential menus for searching hierarchies on the World Wide Web BIBA 201-207
  Panayiotis Zaphiris; Ben Shneiderman; Kent L. Norman
An experiment is reported that compared expandable indexes providing full menu context with sequential menus providing only partial context. Menu depth was varied using hierarchies of two, three and four levels deep in an asymmetric structure of 457 root level items. Menus were presented on the World Wide Web within a browser. Participants searched for specific targets. Results suggest that reducing the depth of hierarchies improves performance in terms of speed and search efficiency. Surprisingly, expandable indexes resulted in poorer performance with deeper hierarchies than did sequential menus.
Technology adoption as process: a case of integrating an information-intensive website into a patient education helpline BIBA 209-222
  Brett E. Shelton; Jennifer Turns; Tracey S. Wagner
This study followed the introduction of the Arthritis Source website into the existing teaching practices of Arthritis Foundation Helpline volunteers. The goal was to examine what factors may affect a particular group of educators adopt a potentially valuable Internet tool into an existing instructional environment. Defining the possible uses of the website in reference to the volunteers' actual job duties helped provide a clearer understanding of how the volunteers might use this new technology. The researchers used qualitative techniques to focus on three volunteers who experienced different physical, environmental and cognitive means that impacted their use of the new tool. Each volunteer experienced varying levels of motivation in areas of learning, satisfaction and responses to outside influences. Each volunteer also had varying amounts of opportunity prompts in which to interact or refer the website. Consequently, Helpline volunteers experienced different rates of adopting the information-intensive website into their traditional work system.
A UK study into the potential effects of virtual education: does online learning spell an end for on-campus learning? BIBA 223-229
  Gurmak Singh; John O'Donoghue; Claire Betts
Contemporary research into virtual learning embraces the concept that the constraints of time and place of study are eliminated. The potential market it could therefore encapsulate is phenomenal and the subsequent changes that threaten to ricochet through the higher education sector can be described as evolutionary. Whilst concurrently being an incredibly exciting prospect for future learners, online learning is also making the traditional 'bricks and mortar' higher education establishment extremely uneasy, arousing fears of global competition, which would evoke a need for transformational change. The UK has embraced technology to support virtual learning across the whole tertiary education sector. There is an implicit assumption that the provision of systems to support remote, independent learners will provide learner-centred environments for all to access. This may not be the case as evidenced by O'Donoghue et al. (2001), amongst others. This paper aims to examine the possible metamorphosis of the organizational structure of the higher education system, and the methods university administrators and lecturers will need to use to adapt to this. Through considering the impact on students, an analysis will be made of the extent of the threat that distance learning imposes on the traditional campus. The work centres on the UK experience, but draws heavily on the opportunities, threats and promises of globalize learning paradigms.
Book review BIB 231-233
  J. G. Hollands

BIT 2002 Volume 21 Issue 4

The effects of adverse condition warning system characteristics on driver performance: an investigation of alarm signal type and threshold level BIBA 235-248
  Nitin Gupta; Ann M. Bisantz; Tarunraj Singh
This study addresses the issues concerning the design of adverse condition warning systems (ACWS). ACWS are designed to sense adverse road and weather conditions as well as system states that can negatively impact driving performance leading to skids or accidents, and alert drivers to these conditions. In this case, an ACWS was designed to sense when a car was likely to skid. A virtual-driving environment was used to test two levels of alarm sensitivity (low and high) and two types of auditory alarm signal (Binary ON/OFF and Graded) along with a no-alarm control group. Dependent measures reflected driver performance, response to the alarm signal and trust in the alerting system. Results indicated that participants had fewer skids in the low sensitivity and graded alarm signal condition compared to some other alerting system configurations. Participants in the graded alarm signal condition also had a greater degree of lateral control over the vehicle. Additionally, trust was found to be lower for the high vs. low sensitivity alarm condition, indicating a reduction in trust when the alerting system activated more often, perhaps because participants did not feel the system was accurately reflecting a dangerous condition. This simulator-based research emphasizes the fact that while ACWS may provide an advantage in terms of vehicle control, characteristics of both the alerting signal and system configuration should be considered.
Human factors in the design of a personalizable EPG: preference-indication strategies, habit watching and trust BIBA 249-258
  J. Westerink; C. Bakker; H. De Ridder; H. Siepe
The article describes a user study to support the design of a personalizable EPG (Electronic TV Programme Guide), and of its user interface for editing user preference profiles regarding TV channels and categories. This study focuses on issues related to users' behaviour and perceptions regarding a personalizable EPG, and especially regarding the personalization process. Users were presented with a paper-and-pencil procedure to indicate their TV viewing preferences, as well as with an electronic version. Their strategies were observed and their opinions asked, especially on trusting a system that uses this data. Moreover, their viewing behaviour was monitored over a period of two weeks, and recommendations for the second week were based on the viewing behaviour of the first week. The results indicate that users are reasonably comfortable and consistent in describing their viewing habits in terms of preferences, both for the paper-and-pencil and electronic preference-indication procedures, but that fine tuning this profile on the basis of habit watching would considerably improve the efficacy of the recommendations. It was found that subjects trust the system with the task of preselecting their TV programmes on the basis of their preference indications, although they are not sure whether a habit-watching system would be capable of following their changing habits over time.
Attitudes toward online shopping and the Internet BIBA 259-271
  Thompson S. H. Teo
Since the explosion of the Web as a business medium, one of its primary uses has been for marketing. Soon, the Web will become a critical distribution channel for the majority of successful enterprises. The mass media, consumer marketers and advertising agencies seem to be in the midst of Internet discovery and exploitation. Before a company can envision what might sell online in the coming years, it must first understand the attitudes and behaviour of its potential customers. Hence, this study examines attitudes toward various aspects of online shopping and provides a better understanding of the potential of electronic commerce for both researchers and practitioners.
Do older adults underestimate their actual computer knowledge? BIBA 273-280
  J. C. Marquie; L. Jourdan-Boddaert; N. Huet
This work examined the hypothesis that elderly people are less confident than young people in their own computer knowledge. This was done by having 49 young (M = 22.6 years) and 42 older (M = 68.6 years) participants to assess their global self-efficacy beliefs and to make item-by-item prospective (feeling-of-knowing: FOK) and retrospective (confidence level: CL) judgments about their knowledge in the two domains of computers and general knowledge. The latter served as a control domain. Item difficulty was equated across age groups in each domain. In spite of this age equivalence in actual performance, differences were found in FOK and CL ratings for computers but not for general knowledge, with older people being less confident than young people in their own computer knowledge. The greater age difference in ratings observed in the computer domain, as compared with the general domain, was even greater for the FOK than for the CL judgments. Statistical control of age differences in global self-efficacy beliefs in the computer domain (poorer in the older participants, but not in the general domain), eliminated age differences in FOK and CL judgments in the same domain. These findings confirm earlier ones. They suggest that underconfidence in their relevant abilities is one possible source of the difficulties that the elderly may encounter in mastering new computer technologies.
Effects of transition to an integrated IT technology in surveying work BIBA 281-292
  Gunvor Gard; Kari Lindstrom; Margareta Dallner
An integrated IT technology, characterized by a change in information support from a strong specialization towards greater integration has been introduced within the surveying company in Sweden. The aim of this study is to compare and describe effects of the transition to this new information technology in relation to job and organizational characteristics and effectiveness and well-being measures between 1998 and 2000. The results show that a positive attitude to the new IT system increased from 1998 to 2000. The transition to a new IT technology had negative consequences on job content and job control in 1999 but improvements could be seen in 2000. Co-operation with clients and service quality to clients improved each year from 1998 to 2000. Generally, a positive attitude to IT integration was related to high continuous improvement practices, goal clarity and job control in all three phases. However, the relations were reduced in 1999.
Impact of national culture on information technology usage behaviour: an exploratory study of decision making in Korea and the USA BIBA 293-302
  Kenneth J. Calhoun; James T. C. Teng; Myun Joong Cheon
The globalization of world markets has led to the introduction of information technology, most often developed in western cultures, to other societies. Cultural values were embedded in the design and use of these technologies. Often, the receiving society did not embrace the technology because of culture. Examples of such behaviour include executive information systems and group decision support systems, which are cited later. This study examines the use of non-specific applications of information technology for organizational decision making. A survey instrument was developed to measure decision makers' perceptions of the impact of information technology on the decision process. Decision makers in Korea and the USA indicated their perceptions of the extent information technology use impacted their decision making activities. The results indicated some behaviours appeared to change to take advantage of the technology, while others, particularly those associated with the cultural preference for communication, did not.

BIT 2002 Volume 21 Issue 5

The influence of user expertise and phone complexity on performance, ease of use and learnability of different mobile phones BIBA 303-311
  Martina Ziefle
The study focuses on usability, ease of use and learnability of three different mobile phones (Nokia 3210, Siemens C35i, Motorola P7389). The first independent variable refers to the complexity of the menu (depth/breadth of the menu tree) and navigation keys (number/functionality). The Nokia phone had the lowest and the Motorola the highest complexity, with the Siemens phone ranging between them. The second independent variable was user expertise: 30 novices and 30 experts solved six telephone tasks. In order to assess effects of learnability, tasks were presented twice. Differences between the mobile phones regarding effectiveness, efficiency and learnability were found: The best performance was shown by Nokia users. The remaining two phones did not differ significantly, although the most complex phone was superior to the phone of medium complexity which had the lowest performance. Moreover, an effect of expertise was confirmed, though suboptimal interfaces were identified as lessening the advantage of expertise. Specific weaknesses of the tested phones are discussed.
Visibility and characteristics of the mobile phones for elderly people BIBA 313-316
  Masako Omori; Tomoyuki Watanabe; Jo Takai; Hiroki Takada; Masaru Miyao
Although mobile phones (MPs) have become important IT devices, there are few studies on the visibility of MPs for elderly people. Using six types of MPs, we analysed the reading performance among elderly people who read 11 numerics on each MP. The subjects were 130 people aged 18 to 86 years, including 60 people over 60 years of age. The subjects' visual functions of cataract cloudiness (CC) and near vision for a 50 cm distant target (NV) were measured. In a twoway ANOVA, two kinds of dependant variables, reading speed (RS) and the number of errors in reading (Error) were used for the subjects' reading performance. Two independent variables were taken from five variables. Each time one variable was fixed as the type of MPs. The other was taken as either age, CC, NV, individual history on MP operation or room illuminance (RI). Eventually, 10 ANOVAs were calculated. Significant differences were found in all ANOVAs except that for RI. We undertook a multiple logistic regression analysis. Independent variables of CC, NV and vertical length of characters (VL) and two kinds of dependent variables, RS and Error, were used. Visual functions and a short VL were related to slow RS and increased Errors.
Using mouse and keyboard under time pressure: preference, strategies and learning BIBA 317-319
  Anker Helms Jorgensen; Anne Helene Garde; Bjarne Laursen; Bente Rona Jensen
Visually based point-and-click user interfaces have become very common. This increases the need to understand the mechanics in learning and using pointing devices in order to design appropriate human-computer interaction and thereby to help alleviate musculosketetal symptoms. The paper reports a study of preference, strategies and learning in using keyboard and mouse in a tracking task under time pressure. The keyboard was preferred by 11 out of 12 subjects due primarily to comfort, frustration, and visual strain. One of the most distinguishing features in favour of the keyboard was the opportunity to develop a working strategy facilitating learning.
User centred design for a digital welding machine BIBA 321-326
  Michael Burmester; Andreas Beu; Heinz Hackl; Franz Niedereder
The design of the user interface of a digital welding machine based on a user centred design process is described in this paper. Due to the iterative design process and the involvement of end users, interaction techniques have been designed which are optimised for the mental work model of the target user groups.
Requirements for community support systems -- modularization, integration and ubiquitous user interfaces BIBA 327-332
  Michael Koch
Community support platforms are gaining more and more interest in areas ranging from leisure support and customer support in electronic commerce to knowledge management in enterprises. However, current solutions usually are built as proprietary systems or as add-ons to systems designed for other purposes. The platforms are usually not very customizable and interoperable and are not utilizing the full potential of the community support idea. We have introduced community platforms in several domains and have derived some requirements in these projects. These requirements are mainly related to different aspects of usability. In this paper we present the requirements and motivate an architecture for community support systems designed to fulfil these requirements.
User-friendly visualization of object versions and archives in collaborative computer work BIBA 333-336
  Gert Zulch; Sascha Stowasser
Data, states, events, information, experience and knowledge are present in all production enterprises in a vast array of forms. There is a common trend for storage, administration and processing of these in a distributed and connected information system for collaborative computer work. Work objects and data in a shared computer application can be continually changed and modified by different users working simultaneously with this application. Due to the different versions and the history of a common working object it becomes more and more important to be aware of the various states of the object. Within a recently completed comparative investigation study at the 'Laboratory for Human-Machine-Interaction' of the ifab-Institute, different ways of visualizing object versions and archives were evaluated. The investigation was based on different structured visualization forms.
Designing a dynamic system traffic control of a freight railway BIBA 337-339
  Anamaria De Moraes; Claudia Renata Mont'Alvao; Manuela Quaresma; Alexandre M. Dresch; Rosane Schonblum
This paper empathizes the interface design for a new control system for freight that was developed during the process of modernization in a company. On one side, there are managers, intermediate decision levels, that dialogue with the ergonomists and, on the other side, the operators with their own opinions about the system. These last ones are rarely asked by the managers about their opinions. The proposed system is configured from the opinions of the operators. Other problems, such as technology transfer and insistence of the managers about using similar systems obliged that the final project should include some modifications.
The development of driver assistance systems following usability criteria BIBA 341-344
  Kurt Landau
Increasing numbers of intelligent driver assistance systems are now being installed in motor vehicles to support drivers. In order to ensure that the stress reduction benefits obtained from these systems are not nullified or even outweighed by new stresses at the vehicle's man-machine interfaces, the systems' control concepts must be designed to high ergonomic standards. This paper seeks to identify design weaknesses in assistance systems by presenting criteria that must, on the one hand, be observed when designing the control concept of a new assistance system and, on the other hand, be applied when assessing the man-machine interfaces of assistance systems already installed in a vehicle.
Requirements for software-support in concurrent engineering teams BIBA 345-350
  Tanja Noelle; Dirk Kabel; Holger Luczak
Team work is the customary type of labour organisation used in the framework of Concurrent Engineering (CE). It requires a suitable design of the supporting software. As a first step a model of Concurrent Engineering Team Effectiveness (CETEM) has been developed on the basis of a meta-analysis. Within the scope of an empirical study -- which was actually meant to test this new model -- guidelines for software-support in Concurrent Engineering Teams were derived. The study was designed as participative observation and continuous process mapping of ten different teams. Sixty-seven measurements were being conducted in team meetings in order to show a correlation between the described variables. Correlation and cluster analyses were utilised. On a super-ordinated management level project contents and objectives as well as their temporal and logical context should be mapped with the help of a workflow-system. On a more operational level in the team itself, degrees of freedom regarding temporal and logical sequence of activities can be accepted. Nevertheless, detailed planning concerning the contents of activities should take place with the assistance of groupware- or database-solutions.
SWOF -- an open framework for shared workspaces to support different cooperation tasks BIBA 351-358
  Alexander Kunzer; Kerstin Rose; Ludger Schmidt; Holger Luczak
Computer supported collaborative work (CSCW) allows people to cooperate by computers from different places and at different times. To enable an easier integration of such collaborative components into web-based communities and portals, a Shared Workspace Open Framework (SWOF) was developed. This framework provides the basic features of shared workspaces and can be customized to different cooperation cases. High usability is an important aspect of the implementation. To achieve these aims SWOF focuses on an information space with more task-suited item-types that can help to pre-structure the information. Thus, on the one hand the system can help the users to write down the needed information in a consistent way and, on the other, could reduce the arguments between the group members on how to structure their workspace. As a use case for SWOF the development of a Web-based portal for the community of man-machine interaction was chosen. In the project MMI-Interaktiv, a portal is built with a SWOF-based shared workspace component. An evaluation for this use case is presented.
Describing functional requirements for knowledge sharing communities BIBA 359-364
  Sandra Garrett; Barrett Caldwell
Human collaboration in distributed knowledge sharing groups depends on the functionality of information and communication technologies (ICT) to support performance. Since many of these dynamic environments are constrained by time limits, knowledge must be shared efficiently by adapting the level of information detail to the specific situation. This paper focuses on the process of knowledge and context sharing with and without mediation by ICT, as well as issues to be resolved when determining appropriate ICT channels. Both technology-rich and non-technology examples are discussed.
Virtual communities -- a virtual session on virtual conferences BIBA 365-371
  Ahmet E. Cakir
Virtual communities supported by computers and communication facilities have existed for about two decades. Virtual meetings around the world became technically feasible once there was a sufficient number of satellites to relay data communication, and became commonplace at companies that could afford computer-mediated communication (CMC). Today, technological advances, coupled with social changes, mean that virtual communities can be useful to many people. The goal of this session is to demonstrate how virtual communities can be established and kept going using inexpensive technical means. The meeting will be held during a scientific conference on worldwide distributed work, by presenters who have organized and run at least one virtual event. It will itself be a virtual event, with contributions from Philadelphia in the west to Hong Kong in the east and South Africa in the south. The physical auditorium will be present in Berchtesgaden, a small town in the south of Germany; virtual participants may be anywhere.

BIT 2002 Volume 21 Issue 6

Shopping behaviour and preferences in e-commerce of Turkish and American university students: implications from cross-cultural design BIBA 373-385
  Nancy J. Lightner; Mehmet M. Yenisey; A. Ant Ozok; Gavriel Salvendy
With internationalization of commerce and business and with increased use of e-business and e-commerce, it is important to ensure that these systems can be effectively utilized across cultural boundaries. To increase effectiveness, appropriate changes and modifications in the systems may be required. With this in mind, a survey of 300 Turkish university students was undertaken to assess their on-line shopping and behaviour preferences, and these were compared with the results derived from 64 US university students. The results provide guidelines for specific design of features for the Turkish population that may not be necessary for the US population.
Impact of website information design factors on consumer ratings of web-based auction sites BIBA 387-402
  O. Byung Kwon; Choong-Ryuhn Kim; Eun Jong Lee
With internationalization of commerce and business and with increased use of e-business and e-commerce, it is important to ensure that these systems can be effectively utilized across cultural boundaries. To increase effectiveness, appropriate changes and modifications in the systems may be required. With this in mind, a survey of 300 Turkish university students was undertaken to assess their on-line shopping and behaviour preferences, and these were compared with the results derived from 64 US university students. The results provide guidelines for specific design of features for the Turkish population that may not be necessary for the US population.
DEVAN: a tool for detailed video analysis of user test data BIBA 403-423
  Arnold P. O. S. Vermeeren; Karin den Bouwmeester; Jans Aasman; Huib de Ridder
A tool was developed for structured and detailed analysis of video data from user tests of interactive systems. It makes use of a table format for representing an interaction at multiple levels of abstraction. Interactions are segmented based on threshold times for pauses between actions. Usability problems are found using a list of observable indications for the occurrence of problems. The tool was evaluated by having two analysts apply it to three data sets from user tests on two different products. The segmentation technique proved to yield meaningful segments that helped in understanding the interaction. The interaction table was explicit enough to discuss in detail what had caused the differences in the analysts' lists of usability problems. The results suggested that the majority of differences were caused by unavoidable differences in interpretations of subjects' behaviour and that only minor improvements should be expected by refining the tool.
Shifting knowledge from analysis to design: requirements for contextual user interface development BIBA 425-440
  Chris Stary
There is consensus among the members of the HCI community as well as among software developers that work tasks and user characteristics (i.e. context) should play a leading role in the course of system development. There seems to be less consensus on how the information about users and work tasks should be acquired and subsequently moved to the design process of a development project. Due to the use of unifying methods and concepts -- such as object-orientation -- that might be used for analysis, design and implementation, this transition seems to be facilitated. However, few inputs have been provided to guide developers on how to shift knowledge from analysis to design when task- and user knowledge are considered to be inherent parts of the development knowledge. This paper details the interface between analysis and design, reviews existing concepts to bridge the gap between the two phases of development, and enriches these findings with some empirical results from a survey with respect to practical experiences. From these findings, requirements to successfully shift knowledge in the early phases of software development have been derived.
The use of computers among the workers in the European Union and its impact on the quality of work BIBA 441-447
  Frank Andries; Peter G. W. Smulders; Steven Dhondt
For many people it is impossible to imagine working life today without a computer. What the increase of the use of computers means for the quality of the work, is still under discussion. The object of this study is to show the recent developments (1992-2000) in the use of computers among the working population in the European Union and its impact on the quality of working life. The data used for these analyses were collected on a five-year basis by means of a questionnaire. Results show that the use of computers has increased between 1992 and 2000. The increase in computer use is almost completely the result of developments within white-collar occupations. In general, the use of a computer results in more qualified work and less physical strain. However, those who work with a computer permanently, clearly show more signs of physical and mental strain than those who use the computer only part of the time. This could mean that adding other tasks than computer tasks could improve the working conditions of those using the computer permanently. These results suggest that the increase of the use of computers will further improve the quality of work except when one neglects the dangers connected with a permanent use of computers.