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Behaviour and Information Technology 22

Editors:Tom Stewart
Publisher:Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Standard No:ISSN 0144-929X
Links:Table of Contents
  1. BIT 2003 Volume 22 Issue 1
  2. BIT 2003 Volume 22 Issue 2
  3. BIT 2003 Volume 22 Issue 3
  4. BIT 2003 Volume 22 Issue 4
  5. BIT 2003 Volume 22 Issue 5
  6. BIT 2003 Volume 22 Issue 6

BIT 2003 Volume 22 Issue 1

User involvement: a review of the benefits and challenges BIBA 1-16
  Sari Kujala
User involvement is a widely accepted principle in development of usable systems. However, it is a vague concept covering many approaches. This study first clarifies the nature of user involvement and its expected benefits, and secondly reviews three streams of research, to evaluate the benefits and problems of varied user involvement approaches in practice. The particular focus of this study is on the early activities in the development process. An analysis of the literature suggests that user involvement has generally positive effects, especially on user satisfaction, and some evidence exists to suggest that taking users as a primary information source is an effective means of requirements capture. However, the role of users must be carefully considered and more cost-efficient practices are needed for gathering users' implicit needs and requirements in real product development contexts.
Impacts of GSS generic structures and task types on group communication process and outcome: some expected and unexpected research findings BIBA 17-29
  Wayne W. Huang
The contingency nature of GSS use implies that some GSS structures may be more suitable for supporting some task types than others. Research specifically examining effects of the GSS-task fit on group process and outcome has been inadequate in GSS research literature. This research, therefore, focused on the GSS-task fit. Two task types were used to explore the fit: an intellective task that was chosen to elicit the good fit and a preference task which was chosen to elicit the poor fit. Half groups were provided with computer (GSS) support and the other half was not. Research results reported some expected and unexpected findings. The good GSS-task fit for the intellective task enhanced group communication in group process whereas the poor fit for the preference task reduced group communication, as expected. However, the good fit for an intellective task failed to increase group satisfaction, relative to the poor fit for a preference task, which was unexpected. A possible reason for the unexpected results was suggested and discussed. The research findings provide empirical evidences to support the argument that GSS may not be studied as a global entity in the future. Instead, more research needs to be done on GSS-task fit to explore matches between specific GSS structures and specific task types.
Legitimate by design: towards trusted socio-technical systems BIBA 31-51
  Brian Whitworth; Aldo de Moor
Legitimacy or 'fairness' seems a key requirement for trust in computer-mediated social environments. Trust in turn seems necessary for productive community interactions like e-commerce. But unless legitimacy is built into social software, achieving trust may not be possible. This means expressing apparently vague social 'rights' as specific information system (IS) requirements, i.e. carrying out a legitimacy analysis. We suggest a framework for the systematic analysis of who 'owns' what in IS design, assuming basic object types and actions. This analysis not only allows social legitimacy concepts to be expressed in IS design terms, but could also reveal socio-technical system design choices for public review. The technique is illustrated by case examples. Legitimacy analysis can apply to wide variety of social software, from chat rooms to virtual realities. It could lead to future global standards for virtual social environment design, perhaps necessary for the emergence of a global online community.
An investigation of volitional control in information ethics BIBA 53-62
  Meng-Hsiang Hsu; Feng-Yang Kuo
The main motivation of our research is how the issue of volitional control might affect the application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) to research decisions related to information ethics. Specifically, a TPB-based model provides the best fit to the sample collected for the present study. In this model, the contribution of both the attitude and perceived behavioural control to the intention is shown to fluctuate depending upon the degree of volitional control concerning the targeted behaviour. As the behaviour's degree of volitional control lessens, the weighted influence of perceived behavioural control increases and that of the attitude decreases. Thus, it is confirmed that degree of volitional control concerning an ethical act indeed plays a central role in applying the Theory of Planned Behaviour to information ethics research.
An exploratory study of moral intensity regarding software piracy of students in Thailand BIBA 63-70
  Ranjan B. Kini; H. V. Ramakrishna; B. S. Vijayaraman
In the business environment that is becoming increasingly global and digital, the need for proper safeguards for protecting digital assets is increasingly becoming critical. Specifically, software piracy is becoming economically devastating to companies that develop and market software. Some researchers have argued that the level of moral intensity regarding software piracy of individuals may be related to the extent of actual software piracy behaviour. In order to empirically study this relationship, it is important to understand the concept of moral intensity towards software piracy. In this research, we study the concept in an international setting, a university in Thailand. We report the relationship between moral intensity and some important demographic variables and also explore the relationship between moral intensity of individuals and the perceived moral intensity of their community, the students, employees, and faculty. The results have implications for developing and implementing appropriate policies to reduce software piracy.

BIT 2003 Volume 22 Issue 2

Graphical Web directory for Web search BIBA 71-77
  Lingfeng Ma; Gavriel Salvendy
This study addresses graphical Web directory, a new way to present hierarchical structure of Web directory. An analysis of the characteristics and problems of current Web directories is presented. The feature graphical Web directory for supporting information processing and decision making in Web directory browsing in Web search is proposed to improve users' performance and satisfaction. An experiment was conducted to test the effectiveness of the proposed feature. The results of the experiment indicated that (a) the enhancement of this feature improved users' initial and overall search performance by 32.6 and 43.4%, respectively, (b) the enhancement of this feature also improved users' satisfaction by 27.7%.
A framework for reuse of user experience in Web browsing BIBA 79-90
  Guangfeng Song; Gavriel Salvendy
This paper examines aspects affecting user behaviours in Web browsing with a discussion of existing models for both the computer and human aspects of Web browsing. Problems in Web information retrieval are analysed and studies related to the reuse of user experience in Web browsing are reviewed. An object-oriented model for user behaviours in Web browsing is proposed in which both the information from the Web and the information retained by users are modelled as objects. Thus, user actions on the Web are described as a graph of objects or transformations from one object to another. A framework for reuse of user experience is provided. The possible methods of reusing Web browsing experience are described for the scenario of reusing by oneself (history mechanism, prediction) or reusing by others (collaborative filtering, instructions).
Organizing for remote consultations in health care -- the production process BIBA 91-100
  Aas Ih Monrad
In health care we find a very complex production process related to the complexity of disease. New telecommunications have created a novel means of contact between patient and health care worker: the remote consultation. The remote consultation is unique, with a simultaneous flow of services from different organizations. It is conceivable that analysis of the production process of remote consultations may contribute to improved organization of the work. To obtain information on the little analysed production process of remote consultations, qualitative interviews were performed with 30 persons working in teledermatology, telepsychiatry, a telepathology frozen-section service, and tele-otolaryngology. The results show that managers in organizations planning telemedicine activity do not need to prepare the personnel by organizing communication on goal formulation and content for the remote consultations. For the single health care worker a remote consultation does not require more preparation than an ordinary consultation. The variation in type of images seen on the screen here does not seem to play a major role. Evaluation of each step mainly shows that the production process of remote consultations functions well. The most frequently mentioned problems are technical problems (which should not be exaggerated), but other problems also exist. Proposals for improvements were given, such as wishing that a technician was available, and improved booking systems. The main conclusion is that no major reorganization seems to be necessary for the production process of remote consultations. This type of telecooperation works well.
Measuring the adaptability of universal accessible systems BIBA 101-116
  Chris Stary; Alex Totter
Adaptability is a concept to improve access to content and navigation for individual users of information systems in various settings of interaction. Following the usability-engineering tradition to provide operational definitions of principles, and subsequently to develop techniques for evaluation based on these definitions, we revisited adaptability concepts and designed a structured technique (Accessibility through Adaptability, ActA) for checking user interfaces designed to be accessible for a variety of users. ActA enables the measurement in terms of a system's capability to provide accurate interaction features for individual users and their (situative) needs. In the paper we review the multiple dimensions of adaptability and detail the ActA technique. We also exemplify the application of the technique discussing a case study that has been performed within an European R&D-project. The benefits of this approach for evaluation result from the integration of different views on the interface, since the evaluation procedure involves both users, and developers. This way, the technique bridges the gap between developers and users, since user interfaces might be co-constructed based on the results of an evaluation.
Identifying managers who need ethics training in using IT at work BIBA 117-125
  Wing S. Chow; Kin Y. Choi
This paper identifies managers who require ethics training in using IT at work. The identification of these managers is mainly based on studying the impact of their individual characteristics on a set of seven ethical issues and attitudes, which translated into IT ethical scenarios. This paper proposes a canonical model by treating individual characteristics of managers as predictor variables and considering information describing their beliefs on those seven ethical issues and attitudes as explained variables. A questionnaire survey was used for data collection and 249 managers participated in this study. The results show that the significant explained variables are based on a combination of six ethical events of accountability, conflict of interest, disclosure, personal conduct, protection of privacy, and social responsibility. The significant predictor variables are based on a combination of four individual characteristics of age, educational level, organizational level, and working experience. Discussion on the implication of the results and recommendations for remedial action are also provided in this paper.
Trends in the use of verbal protocol analysis in software engineering research BIBA 127-140
  Janet Hughes; Steve Parkes
This article reviews the technique of verbal protocol analysis and gives a profile of its use within software engineering research over the last two decades. An overview is given of the procedures used in verbal protocol analysis, and commonly-found difficulties in the application of the technique by researchers are described. The article reports on published efforts to develop tools to automate the procedures. A review of the literature shows trends in the use of the verbal protocol analysis in software engineering research from the 1980s to the present. Recurring themes of its purpose within software engineering research are identified, including the comparison of the behaviours of subjects with differing levels of expertise and the identification of effective software comprehension strategies. Advances and problems with the development of a general-purpose encoding scheme for verbal protocol analysis appropriate to a range of domains within software engineering are described.

BIT 2003 Volume 22 Issue 3

An observation of adults with visual impairments carrying out copy-typing tasks BIB 141-154
  Graeme Douglas; Rachel Long
The effect of language inconsistency on performance and satisfaction in using the Web: results from three experiments BIBA 155-163
  A. Ant Ozok; Gavriel Salvendy
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of linguistic inconsistency on performance and satisfaction on the Web. Three experiments were conducted, and the Interface Consistency Testing Questionnaire (Ozok and Salvendy 2001) was used in all three experiments to measure consistency levels. The three experiments using a total of 100 subjects evaluated the effects of direct manipulation, text-based, and hybrid interfaces with linguistic consistency and inconsistency on performance and satisfaction of the Web user. The experimental results indicated that both direct manipulation and text-based interfaces with linguistic consistency reduced performance time and error rates in comparison to inconsistent linguistics interfaces. Specifically in Reading Comprehension Tasks, subjects committed significantly fewer comprehension errors in consistent language interfaces than in inconsistent language interfaces.
Usability in online shops: scale construction, validation and the influence on the buyers' intention and decision BIBA 165-174
  Udo Konradt; Hartmut Wandke; Bjorn Balazs; Timo Christophersen
This paper describes the development and empirical validation of a new scale for measuring usability in online shops, i.e. the Usability Questionnaire for Online Shops (UFOS[1]). Sixty users with different demographic characteristics were given the task of finding and ordering products in two out of six web shops. In addition to usability, shop response time, shop size, services, distinctiveness of products and trust were used as predictors with intention to buy and decision to buy as criteria. A factor analysis of UFOS revealed seven factors, consisting of general usability, accessibility of general conditions, product search, shopping-basket handling, process of ordering, product overview, self-descriptiveness and product characteristics. Results on intention to buy show that about half of the participants were not willing to buy online, and users with more experience in online shopping and a higher frequency of Internet use were more willing to buy online. A regression analysis of buying intention shows that usability has the greatest impact on buying intention, followed by the size of the shop and trust. A discriminant analysis reveals that usability and perceived size are the characteristics which contribute mostly to the decision to buy and correctly classify 91% of the decision to buy.
Decision support in fighter aircraft: from expert systems to cognitive modelling BIBA 175-184
  Peter Svenmarck; Sidney Dekker
This paper reviews two major programmes for support of pilot decision making in a fighter aircraft: the US Pilot's Associate and the French Copilote Electronique. In addressing the problem of decision support in a highly complex and time-pressurised environment, both programmes migrated from a traditional expert systems approach to one based on cognitive modelling. This, however, is where most commonality ends. The paper shows how the differences between the programmes can be explained in terms of their assumptions of what constitutes pilot expertise. These views explain the method for analysis of pilot activities, the model of the pilot, what phase of the pilot's problem solving the programmes attempt to support, and the support philosophy. The paper concludes with a discussion on computer-based decision support in complex, dynamic domains, and how cognitive modelling may contribute.
Comparison of 2D and 3D representations for visualising telecommunication usage BIBA 185-201
  Martin Hicks; Claire O'Malley; Sarah Nichols; Ben Anderson
This paper describes an empirical evaluation of one two-dimensional (2D), and two three-dimensional (3D) representations. These representations were developed to present customer behaviour information on telecommunications usage. The goal of the study was to investigate how the properties of these different but informationally equivalent representations supported information retrieval and problem solving using the database. Thirty-six participants performed a number of information retrieval and problem solving tasks, in one of three experimental conditions: 2D graph, 3D graph and 3D helix plot. Measures included performance time and accuracy and user attitudes concerning the usability of the displays. Despite certain navigational problems associated with the 2D representation, the results indicated a performance advantage for the 2D display compared with both 3D representations. Generally, the analyses revealed that the differences in representational characteristics have a significant effect on the level of cognitive effort required to perform the tasks.
Small group decision-making in face-to-face and computer-mediated environments: the role of personality BIBA 203-218
  Andrew Thatcher; Anthony de la Cour
This study investigates the potential influence of personality dimensions on the behaviour and individual processes of small group decision-making in face-to-face and computer-mediated groups. A sample of 90 students was divided into 16 groups, with between four and seven students per group. The groups were randomly assigned to start with one of two different discussion media and one of two different leaderless group discussion problems. Measures of leadership, initiative, judgement, and interpersonal sensitivity were obtained for each subject from two raters working independently using video-tapes of the face-to-face sessions and the logged interactions of the computer-mediated sessions. Further, 'satisfaction with the process' and 'satisfaction with the outcome' were assessed using a Likert-type scale. Personality was measured using the Myers Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI). Using correlations and repeated measures ANOVAs across the outcome dimensions and the psychological type scores, the findings of this research suggest that personality plays a minor role in differentiating between the media conditions.

BIT 2003 Volume 22 Issue 4

Age differences in the performance of hypertext perusal as a function of text topology BIBA 219-226
  Dyi-Yih Michael Lin
The present study examined the extent to which age had impacts on the performance of hypertext browsing and navigation as a function of text topology. Twenty senior adults and 20 younger adults (mean ages = 68.95 and 23.60 respectively) participated in an experiment where three levels of text linearity were manipulated. Results showed the older adult accessed fewer numbers of text nodes than the younger counterpart, which suggests that the aged appear at a disadvantage in browsing breadth. The older adult's less oriented browsing was evidenced by the larger number of nodes repeatedly visited, particularly when the network topology was perused. As for navigation, older people experienced greater disorientation given that they searched more links to locate the target node. This age difference was mainly derived from the disorientation occurring at the hybrid and network levels, with the hybrid condition resulting in the severest navigation confusion due to its mixed text structure. Implications for the design of hypertext that accommodates the age differences are discussed.
Blending scenarios of use and informal argumentation to facilitate universal access: experience with the Universal Access Assessment Workshop method BIBA 227-244
  Demosthenes Akoumianakis; Constantine Stephanidis
The accessibility of interactive computer-based products and services has long been an issue of concern to the Assistive Technology (AT) and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) communities. In recent years, there have been several efforts aiming to document the consolidated wisdom in the form of general guidelines and examples of best practice. Despite their sound human factors content, these guidelines require substantial interpretation by designers, before they can generate practically useful and context-specific recommendations. In this paper, we examine how this task can be aided by blending scenarios of use and informal argumentation in the context of a structured technique referred to as Universal Access Assessment Workshop (UA2W). The paper provides a review of the technique and proposes two instruments, namely scenario screening and growth scenarios, which can be used to structure the conduct of UA2Ws. Finally, the paper summarises recent experiences in the use of these techniques in the context of a case study, which seeks to provide universal access insight to the design of a ward-based service to patient medical data.
How the Web is used to support collaborative writing BIBA 245-262
  Sylvie Noel; Jean-Marc Robert
We present 19 systems that have been developed over the past decade to support collaborative writing over the Web. The aim of this article is to present the state of the art on the use of the Web for collaborative writing and thus (1) help designers improve current systems or define future systems, and (2) help users choose the most appropriate system to support their needs. Among available systems, groups can select from tools to write a document (on- or off-line), collect comments about a document, or maintain a Web site. The lack of experimental data concerning Web-based applications forces designers to use other sources of information to guide their design choices, such as a list of functions that an ideal collaborative writing tool should offer. This list has revealed several potential points for improvement.
Effects of organizational context and inter-group behaviour on the success of strategic information systems planning: an empirical study BIBA 263-280
  George G. Lee; Jung-Chi Pai
The strategic value of information systems (IS) and the impact of information technology (IT) on business competitiveness has increased the need for effective strategic information systems planning (SISP). However, numerous strategic information systems planning methodologies stress the rational and formal aspects of organizational life, while ignoring the complexity of actual organizational situations which are characterized by human behaviour. Additionally, although numerous researchers have conducted empirical studies examining the relationship between various factors and strategic IS planning effectiveness, many factors have received little attention. This study uses structural equation modeling (SEM) to analyse the effects of organizational context and inter-group behaviour on the success of SISP. A survey of senior IS executives in Taiwan was used to test the relationships between the constructs in the research model. The results showed that certain factors relating to organizational context and inter-group behaviour influenced the success of SISP. Finally, the implications of this finding for IS practice and future research are examined.
Adoption of the Internet and WAP-enabled phones in Singapore BIBA 281-289
  Thompson S. H. Teo; Siau Heong Pok
The Internet, and more recently mobile phones have seen tremendous growth over the past few years. This paper examines the adoption of the Internet and WAP-enabled mobile phones in Singapore. Specifically, we compare users of WAP-enabled mobile phones and non-WAP-enabled mobile phones in terms of profile of Internet users, Internet activities and issues relating to WAP-enabled mobile phones. The results indicate that short messaging system (SMS) and caller ID are popular functions for mobile phone users. Respondent also use the mobile phone for buying cinema/concert tickets and accessing personalised news. These results provide researchers and practitioners with some insights on the adoption of the Internet and WAP-enabled mobile phones. For researchers, such insights would be useful in understanding the adoption phenomenon, while for practitioners, such insights would provide some basis for adopting certain policies to promote adoption.

BIT 2003 Volume 22 Issue 5

Organisational databases of personnel information: contrasting the concerns of human resource managers and employees BIBA 291-304
  Jeffrey M. Stanton; Elizabeth M. Weiss
Computerisation, networking, and electronic surveillance and monitoring have individually and conjointly affected the practises of human resources (HR) management in work organisations. These technologies enhance the ability of HR professionals to gather, store, and process information about employees. We report results from two semi-structured interview studies -- one of HR managers (n = 5) and one of employees (n = 15) -- that contrast the concerns of these two groups on issues of personnel data, privacy, and technology. We used qualitative data coding techniques and quantitative analysis of code assignments to uncover patterns in interviewees' responses. Our findings revealed concordance between HR managers and employees in regard to the criticality of trust and justification in relation to the collection of personnel data through technological and non-technological means. Results also revealed divergences between managers and employees in knowledge of human resources policies and legal constraints as well as in beliefs about the importance of privacy.
Motivating creativity through a computer-mediated employee suggestion management system BIBA 305-314
  James F. Fairbank; William E. Spangler; Scott David Williams
This paper describes the requirements for an automated employee suggestion management system (ESMS) based on expectancy theory and computer-mediated communications. Although research has found that suggestion systems can be a useful way to obtain and utilize employees' creative ideas, effective suggestion management systems must also motivate employees to think creatively and to participate in the suggestion process. According to expectancy theory, employees are most strongly motivated to participate when they believe that they can do so successfully and when they know that their participation will result in an outcome that they value. The system proposed here addresses the requirements of expectancy theory, and the weaknesses of existing suggestion systems, by establishing a communications infrastructure and protocol similar to those used in group decision support systems. The system motivates employees to submit suggestions by providing an interactive networked forum within which employees and interested stakeholders can openly debate their merits.
Cognitive, physical, sensory, and functional affordances in interaction design BIBA 315-338
  H. Rex Hartson
In reaction to Norman's (1999) essay on misuse of the term affordance in human-computer interaction literature, this article is a concept paper affirming the importance of this powerful concept, reinforcing Norman's distinctions of terminology, and expanding on the usefulness of the concepts in terms of their application to interaction design and evaluation. We define and use four complementary types of affordance in the context of interaction design and evaluation: cognitive affordance, physical affordance, sensory affordance, and functional affordance. The terms cognitive affordance (Norman's perceived affordance) and physical affordance (Norman's real affordance) refer to parallel and equally important usability concepts for interaction design, to which sensory affordance plays a supporting role. We argue that the concept of physical affordance carries a mandatory component of utility or purposeful action (functional affordance). Finally, we provide guidelines to help designers think about how these four kinds of affordance work together naturally in contextualized HCI design or evaluation.
Retrospective vs. concurrent think-aloud protocols: testing the usability of an online library catalogue BIBA 339-351
  Maaike J. van den Haak; Menno D. T. De Jong; Peter Jan Schellens
Think-aloud protocols are a dominant method in usability testing. There is, however, only little empirical evidence on the actual validity of the method. This paper describes an experiment that compares concurrent and retrospective think-aloud protocols for a usability test of an online library catalogue. There were three points of comparison: usability problems detected, overall task performance, and participant experiences. Results show that concurrent and retrospective think-aloud protocols reveal comparable sets of usability problems, but that these problems come to light in different ways. In retrospective think-aloud protocols, more problems were detected by means of verbalisation, while in concurrent think-aloud protocols, more problems were detected by means of observation. Moreover, in the concurrent think-aloud protocols, the requirement to think aloud while working had a negative effect on the task performance. This raises questions about the reactivity of concurrent think-aloud protocols, especially in the case of high task complexity.
Layout attributes and recall BIBA 353-363
  Marketta Niemela; Pertti Saariluoma
The spatial arrangement of elements such as icons in a computer interface may influence learning the interface. However, the effects of layout organization on users' information processing is relatively little studied so far. The three experiments of this paper examined two attributes of layouts: spatial grouping by proximity and semantic coherence. Learning was assessed by tasks in which 30 participants recalled icon-like items' labels, locations, or both as a series of study-recall trials. The results show that layout organization interacts with task demands. Semantic organization improves recall of labels, and spatial grouping supports recall of locations. When both labels and locations are learned concurrently, the best recall performance is associated with a simultaneously grouped and semantically coherent layout. However, semantic and spatial organization may interact unexpectedly on learning. The findings are discussed from the viewpoint of information chunking in memory processes and interface design.
Measurement of information processing load and visual load on a dynamic information processing task BIBA 365-374
  Chia-Fen Chi; Yen-Hui Lin; Woei-Shuoh Lan
A dynamic visual information processing task was designed to investigate time-based and intensity-based factors on an operator's information processing load as measured by reaction time, pupil diameter, and eye movement parameters. The time-based factor was manipulated by the target rate and scanning rate while the intensity-based factor was manipulated by the difference between a simple reaction task and a physical matching (choice reaction) task. Nine participants tracked the scanning line at two different scanning rates and were required to respond to two designated targets presented singly at two different temporal frequencies. The results indicated that task difficulty (the intensity-based factor) had a significant effect on the reaction time. Target rate and scanning rate were integrated as one time-based factor in terms of three sweeping angles. The time-based factor was found to have a significant effect on the fixation time, saccade amplitude, fixation frequency, eye movement speed, reaction time and hit rate. No interaction effect was found between time-based and intensity-based factors. The time pressure (defined by the time required divided by the time available) based on a model human processor was positively related to scanning rate, target rate and task difficulty. It was found to be the most objective and reliable if time required can be reliably predicted based on a predictive model approach.

BIT 2003 Volume 22 Issue 6

Work environment and computer systems development BIBA 375-387
  Bengt Sandblad; Jan Gulliksen; Carl Aborg; Inger Boivie; Jenny Persson; Bengt Goransson; Iordanis Kavathatzopoulos; Stefan Blomkvist; Asa Cajander
Work environment and occupational health problems of different nature are constantly increasing in computer supported work. Most efforts to improve the work environment are focused primarily on physical aspects, and to some extent on psychosocial aspects. Mental workload and cognitive problems are of a more complex nature, more difficult to measure and provide efficient solutions to, and are more seldom studied or solved. Solutions to work environment problems are usually applied to already existing work situations through improved equipment and work place design, health programmes, education, reorganizations, etc. The problems are seldom prevented by means of applying relevant methods early in the systems development process, before the artefacts have been designed and implemented. This paper, and the following papers of this special issue, will focus on the need to integrate different interdisciplinary methods at different phases in the development process of computerized support systems, with the ultimate goal to prevent work environment problems and decrease the health risks to the users.
Health effects of 'the Paperless Office' -- evaluations of the introduction of electronic document handling systems BIBA 389-396
  Carl Aborg; Anders Billing
Electronic document handling (EDH) systems can result in increased risks of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and stress-related mental and somatic symptoms. The effects of introducing an EDH system on the physical and psychosocial work environment, and on self-reported health, were studied in two studies at eight Swedish work places. In the first study data were collected on three occasions: before and 6 and 18 months after the introduction of the EDH system. In the second study data were collected 5 months after the introduction. The methods used were interviews, observations, questionnaires, video recordings, technical measurements and expert observation and examination. The results showed an important increase in time spent at a computer after introduction of the EDH system. The findings indicated (a) an increase in workload, (b) participants felt more constrained and controlled, (c) a higher frequency in static work postures, (d) frequent problems with handling the computer system and (e) an increase in health symptoms.
Key principles for user-centred systems design BIBA 397-409
  Jan Gulliksen; Bengt Goransson; Inger Boivie; Stefan Blomkvist; Jenny Persson; Asa Cajander
The concept of user-centred systems design (UCSD) has no agreed upon definition. Consequently, there is a great variety in the ways it is applied, which may lead to poor quality and poor usability in the resulting systems, as well as misconceptions about the effectiveness of UCSD. The purpose of this paper is to propose a definition of UCSD. We have identified 12 key principles for the adoption of a user-centred development process, principles that are based on existing theory, as well as research in and experiences from a large number of software development projects. The initial set of principles were applied and evaluated in a case study and modified accordingly. These principles can be used to communicate the nature of UCSD, evaluate a development process or develop systems development processes that support a user-centred approach. We also suggest activity lists and some tools for applying UCSD.
Addressing users' health issues in software development -- an exploratory study BIBA 411-420
  Inger Boivie; Stefan Blomkvist; Jenny Persson; Carl Aborg
In this paper we argue that occupational health expertise should be directly involved in the software design process, and describe an exploratory study where health experts and users participated in the analysis, design and evaluation of a prototype. We addressed the problem of poor overview and control in electronic case handling. We used methods primarily from the participatory design field in combination with a framework describing some of the main risk factors for stress-related disorders in VDU work. We conducted observation interviews where the questions were based on the risk factors of high demand, low control and poor support. The interviews were the main lever for addressing these factors and making them 'visible' in the process. They could then be turned into requirements, design criteria and scenarios that we used as a basis for our design.
As easy as pie BIBA 421-426
  Margaret Rangecroft
3-D or perspective pie charts are popular graphical displays, especially now that they are so easy to produce on computers, but they are problematical because they distort the very features that communicate the information about the data. This paper presents evidence to support the hypothesis that such distortions can lead to mis-information being obtained from such graphs. In particular the orientation of the segments is crucial to the interpretation of the data. This evidence comes from an experiment on a large number of subjects from varied backgrounds and ages who were asked to identify the largest and smallest segments in a 3-D pie chart. For some graphs the numbers of respondents who identified the segments incorrectly far exceeded those who identified them correctly. A control group who carried out the same task for 2-D pie charts were all able to correctly identify the largest and smallest segments in each graph.
Filters on computer displays -- effects on legibility, performance and comfort BIBA 427-433
  James E. Sheedy; Manoj V. Subbaram; John R. Hayes
The hypothesis is that using a contrast-enhancing filter (CEF) on a computer display will improve display legibility, reading speed and visual comfort. Twenty subjects performed reading tasks, letter counting tasks, and legibility measurements on eight display conditions: a cathode ray tube (CRT) and liquid crystal display (LCD) matched for size and luminance -- each at high luminance, with two different CEFs and a lower luminance to match one of the CEFs. The CEFs decreased both luminance and contrast when applied to the displays with the brightness set high, although the contrast was better with the filters compared to a matched luminance display without a filter. The legibility measurements support the positive effect of the CEFs due to improved contrast but the larger negative effect due to reduction in luminance results in a net loss of legibility. Performance on the reading and letter counting tasks was not improved with the CEFs.