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Management Perspectives on Usability in a Public Authority - A Case Study
Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology. Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Human-Computer Interaction. MDI.
Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology. Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Human-Computer Interaction. MDI.
Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology. Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Human-Computer Interaction. MDI.
2006 (English)In: NordiCHI 2006: Changing Roles, 2006, 521- p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In trying to understand the problem of poor usability in

computer-supported work, this article looks at management

and their perspective on usability in a public authority.

What are their underlying basic values, assumptions and

attitudes? Why do managers interpret usability as they do,

and what are the consequences for the organization and for

usability? The empirical basis is an interpretive case study

where 19 semi-structured interviews were conducted.

Results indicate that usability is interpreted differently,

depending on the formal roles of informants. Furthermore, a

majority of the informants express personal, but limited,

responsibility for usability. Moreover, we found that basic

values are based on an instrumental view of work where

efficiency and economy are important constituents. We

identified that even though users participate in IT

development, they have no formal responsibility or

authority. They have become IT workers in that they

perform highly technical tasks such as integral testing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. 521- p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-22200ISBN: 1-59593-325-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-22200DiVA: diva2:49973
Available from: 2007-01-12 Created: 2007-01-12 Last updated: 2010-04-13
In thesis
1. Usability – Who Cares?: The Introduction of User-Centred Systems Design in Organisations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Usability – Who Cares?: The Introduction of User-Centred Systems Design in Organisations
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis analyses the difficulties encountered in the promotion of usability, especially in relation to occupation health issues, when developing IT systems in a public authority. It examines what happens when User-Centred Systems Design (UCSD) approaches are introduced to organisations with in-house systems development for their employees. It studies how stakeholder values affect the outcomes in terms of usability, occupational health, and institutional acceptance. Moreover, new methods are examined and evaluated as potential tools for assisting the adoption of UCSD. These methods are for example Field studies for system developers, Usability coaching for stakeholders and Management views of usability.

A stated aim is to influence systems development in practice. Hence an action research paradigm has been employed, carrying out research and change in real life settings, gathering and analysing data using qualitative techniques.

This thesis is based on a constructivist perspective, where theories in the areas of learning and organisational change have been used in order to better understand the research questions.

The research demonstrates that most people are enthusiastic to, and interested in, UCSD with a focus on the computerised work environment. Many of the stakeholder groups, such as managers, users, project managers and system developers, changed their construct of identity as well as practice when UCSD was introduced.

However, this research shows that there are several values that affect systems development and hinder usability work. These include for example value of rationality and objectivity, and differing values and perspectives underpinning descriptions and discourse on work and systems development. Values such as automation, efficiency, and customer satisfaction shape the development of new technology, and ultimately the tasks, work practices integrated in IT systems.

Moreover, the results demonstrate that even though many consider usability as important, few take active responsibility for it, as the title of this thesis suggests.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2010. 121 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 740
Keyword
User-Centred System Design, UCSD, Human-Computer Interaction, HCI, Usability, Perspectives, Sensemaking, Communities of Practice, Action research, Interpretations, Organisational change, Work environment, IT systems development
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Computer Science with specialization in Human-Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-122387 (URN)978-91-554-7797-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-05-26, Room 2446, Polacksbacken, Lägerhyddsvägen 2D, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-05-05 Created: 2010-04-11 Last updated: 2014-06-30Bibliographically approved

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Cajander, ÅsaGulliksen, JanBoivie, Inger

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