HCI Bibliography Home | HCI Journals | About BIT | Journal Info | BIT Journal Volumes | Detailed Records | RefWorks | EndNote | Hide Abstracts
BIT Tables of Contents: 050607080910111213141516171819202122232425

Behaviour and Information Technology 15

Editors:Tom Stewart
Dates:1996
Volume:15
Publisher:Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Standard No:ISSN 0144-929X
Papers:40
Links:Table of Contents
  1. BIT 1996 Volume 15 Issue 1
  2. BIT 1996 Volume 15 Issue 2
  3. BIT 1996 Volume 15 Issue 3
  4. BIT 1996 Volume 15 Issue 4
  5. BIT 1996 Volume 15 Issue 5
  6. BIT 1996 Volume 15 Issue 6

BIT 1996 Volume 15 Issue 1

Editorial BIB 1-2
  Tom Stewart
A Sociotechnical Approach to Smart Card Systems Design: An Australian Case Study BIBA 3-13
  Joan Cooper; Nilay Gencturk; Robyn A. Lindley
Sociotechnical theory represents an important frontier as an effective design tool for new technology. This paper suggests a working model for adopting the objectives of sociotechnical principles for smart card systems design. As an example, a case study based on the collective design practices of Australian firms known to be using smart card is presented. It is found that we are witnessing the birth of a new capacity of Australian firms to understand in a practical way, how sociotechnical knowledge can be applied. It is concluded that current smart card design practices of Australian firms ale not responsible for the limited success of attempts by Australian firms to introduce smart card technology. Rather, it is suggested that there are good economic and organizational reasons why smart card acceptance and use in Australia may have been inhibited. Some important challenges that must be addressed have been noted.
Auditor Evidence Evaluation: Expert Systems as Credible Sources BIBA 14-23
  David S. Murphy; Scott A. Yetmar
Seventy-four experienced auditors from four Big-6 public accounting firms participated in a study of the effect of expert system use by subordinate auditors on superiors' decisions. Superiors were provided with information about a subordinate's decision and were told that the subordinate had or had not used an expert system. Superiors reported higher belief likelihoods and agreed more frequently with conclusions provided by subordinates who were expert system users, even when those conclusions were wrong. However, superiors' confidence in their own decisions was not affected by subordinate's use of an expert system.
A Model of Group Satisfaction in Computer-Mediated Communication and Face-to-Face Meetings BIBA 24-36
  Bolanle A. Olaniran
This study attempts to present a model of member satisfaction with group decision process. Three variables: ease of use (EOU) of the communication medium; participation; and decision confidence (DC) were explored as determinants of member satisfaction. The study offers in explanation of the effects of these variables on group process satisfaction in two communication media: a nearly synchronous text-based computer-mediated communication (CMC) and traditional face-to-face communication (FTF). Results indicate that these variables were good predictors of member satisfaction. Regression and correlation analyses help to validate the model for the two communication media using the ordering of the predictor variables and the strength of the relationship. Results confirm that case of use showed the most contribution to satisfaction and that ease of use is lower in CMC than in FTF. The findings also confirm the effect of communication medium on member satisfaction.
Deixis and Points of View in Media Spaces: An Empirical Gesture BIBA 37-50
  Philip Barnard; Jon May; Daniel Salber
Claims are being made that videophone facilities on microcomputers allow transparent and effective use of shared work spaces by geographically separated colleagues. This can only be true if the video image helps the users understand each other's everyday speech. This study examines factors affecting the comprehension of deictic, gestural reference in videophone communication. Three camera positions were compared: the standard, 'face-to-face' view of the colleague, a 'reversed' view, and a rear three-quarters 'hind' view. Task conditions involved low referential ambiguity (where reference was verbally explicit as well as deictically indicated by gesture) and high referential ambiguity (deictic reference alone). The reference was either to an item in the workspace or a spatial relationship, and two-dimensional and three-dimensional workspaces were compared. Results indicate that the standard face-to-face view found on many systems does not allow gestures made towards shared areas of the screen to be understood when the verbal information is ambiguous. In designing systems that encourage the use of normal patterns of speech, and hence the use of deictic reference, it is necessary to understand which cues are likely to resolve ambiguities, in which dimensions, and the extent to which the cues provided are likely to achieve that end.
Experimental Evaluation of Dialogue Styles for Hybrid Telephone-Based Interface BIBA 51-56
  Donna Lauretta; Gerhard Deffner
This paper describes empirical research evaluating dialogue styles used in telephone-based interfaces that incorporate both touch-tone and speech input. Task completion time, selection frequency, proportion of spoken commands, proportion of prompt interruptions, and user preference were obtained for four different dialogue styles. These styles varied with respect to (1) prompt style (whether explicit command information was presented in prompts or not presented in prompts), and (2) presentation order (function stated first versus command information stated first in prompts). Results provide a basis for a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of different dialogue styles and their implications for selecting a preferred style.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race? Three-Year-Old Children and Pointing Device Use BIBA 57-64
  Erik F. Strommen; Glenda L. Revelle; Lisa M. Medoff; Setarah Razavi
While adult performance with different pointing devices has received extensive study in the human computer interaction literature, there is little data on the performance of young children using any input devices at all. In the present study, 64 three-year-old children used a joystick, mouse, or trackball to perform a simple cursor placement task. Two substantive results were obtained. First, trackball users were the slowest, but also the most accurate in their cursor control. Second, characteristics of the children's performance suggest that adult standards for an optimal interface, which stress speed and efficiency, may not be appropriate when children are the intended users.

BIT 1996 Volume 15 Issue 2

Editorial BIB 65-66
  Tom Stewart
User Involvement in the Early Stages of the Development of an Aircraft Warning System BIBA 67-75
  J. M. Noyes; A. F. Starr; C. R. Frankish
There is an increasing awareness of the importance and the benefits to be attained from consulting the end-users during system and product development. Although the rationale of utilizing the expertise of end-users in the system development life cycle appears to provide an apparently straightforward, even 'ideal' approach, there are many difficulties associated with eliciting the required knowledge from experts, both general and specific to every user group. Furthermore, many developers do not know how to involve users, or if they do, they do not utilize them to best effect. In the avionics sphere, the wealth of knowledge possessed by line pilots and flight engineers represents a vital information resource for the design of future flight-deck systems. As a specific example, this paper overviews some of the considerations which arose from working with these end-users in the early stages of the development of a warning and diagnostic system for civil aircraft. The end-goal of this particular phase of the work was the generation of guidelines for the design of the interface for the software engineers to use when building the prototype, and the methodological approach taken to achieve this is reported here.
The Role of Users in Interactive Systems Design: When Computers are Theatre, Do We Want the Audience to Write the Script? BIBA 76-83
  Brian R. Webb
User participation in the design process may be an axiom of quality design but in the design of interactive, innovative computer systems, user participation may be neither feasible nor desirable. Here, user centred methodologies miss the point. If computers are a medium rather than a tool, then we need a new design paradigm that recognizes the difference between using a product and experiencing a show. In this paper the role of users in interactive systems design within the context of Multimedia product development is discussed. The main features of Multimedia product development are outlined through reference to an empirical study of two organizations and the role of users in the design process is discussed. Finally a different design paradigm is suggested.
Pull-Down versus Traditional Menu Types: An Empirical Comparison BIBA 84-95
  Jane M. Carev; Philip J. Mizzi; Leonard C. Lindstrom
An experiment was conducted to test the performance of pull-down versus traditional or explicit menus. Sixty subjects, including novice and experienced computer users, manipulated both types of menus to complete banking tasks similar to those found on Automatic Teller Machines. The order of the menus was randomly varied to control for learning effects. Across both types of users, traditional-style menus elicited fewer errors than did pull-down menus; however, no significant difference was found in the time to complete the banking task. Experienced users outperformed novice users in the amount of time taken to complete the task regardless of menu type, though no difference was found in the number of errors committed by both user types.
The Use or Misuse of Three-Dimensional Graphs to Represent Lower-Dimensional Data BIBA 96-100
  Michael Siegrist
Some statisticians hold strong opinions regarding graphs with a 3-D look. However, in experiments little attention has been paid to the effects of adding decorative depth. The performance of subjects on pie charts and bar charts with and without 3-D was evaluated in the present experiment. Subjects were asked to make relative magnitude estimates for different graphs. For pie charts, better performance was observed for 2-D than for 3-D charts. For the bar charts, a more differentiated picture emerged: performance was dependent on the position, height and dimension of the bars. However, 3-D bar charts had the one disadvantage that subjects needed more time to evaluate this type of graph.
Teaching Human-Computer Interaction in Context: An Illustrative Lesson on Windows BIBA 101-112
  Dov Te'eni
To date, courses on human computer interaction (HCI) at different institutions are very different in their content and form. They are often criticized as too practical or too theoretical, too technical or too behavioural. This paper proposes and illustrates an approach for introducing HCI that blends psychology, the work context and practical techniques. It is based on the goal of attaining a fit between user, task and technology and combines two themes that organize the material. First, user activity is examined at four levels of interaction: task, semantic, syntactic and lexical. The discussion of any specific topic, such as the use of graphics, is conducted in the task context. In this paper the context is managerial and office work, which include tasks such as making decisions and communicating. Second, user activity is analysed as a function of user characteristics such as memory, attention, comprehension and affect. The approach is demonstrated with a lesson on the design of windows.
Identifying Decision Maker's Preferences through a Prototype Based Inductive Learning Method: A Medical Case Study BIBA 113-122
  Panayotis Vassilakis; Vassilis Moustakis
We present a model of a prototype based inductive method supporting the modelling and identification of decision maker's preferences. We approach decision making using concept formation techniques, namely the prototype model, and identify decision making preference via a two-phase process. During the first phase we identify crisp decision patterns while in the second we focus on patterns that are influenced by decision-making context. Descriptions that associate both types of decision patterns are induced using machine learning. We demonstrate our model using a medical domain that relates to therapeutic planning of maldescensus testis in children. Finally we explore advantages and limitations of our method and discuss the potential for further research on the subject.
Announcement BIB 123
 

BIT 1996 Volume 15 Issue 3

Editorial BIB 125-126
  Tom Stewart
Assessing User Interfaces for Diverse User Groups: Evaluation Strategies and Defining Characteristics BIBA 127-137
  L. Leventhal; B. Teasley; B. Blumenthal; K. Instone; D. Stone; Mikhail V. Donskoy
User interface designers are challenged to design for diverse users, including those of different genders, cultures and abilities; however, little research has been directed at this problem. One factor which may inhibit such research is its cost. This paper presents an approach which offers a way to seek out important characteristics of designs in a cost-effective way and reports on the results. In a study reported here, subjects from different nationalities and of both genders evaluated three dialog boxes specifically designed for 'white American women'. 'European adult male intellectuals' and 'English-speaking-internationals'. The dialog boxes were evaluated with conjoint techniques of preference rankings and factor-analysed adjective ratings. These results showed that female subjects had stronger and more consistent patterns of preferences than the male subjects. All subjects preferred interfaces rated high on an accessibility factor and disliked complex layouts; this effect was even stronger for women. Nationality did not effect ratings. Gender had a stronger effect on the outcome than nationality.
An Objective Approach to Exploring Skill Differences in Strategies of Computer Program Comprehension BIBA 139-147
  Nong Ye; Gavriel Salvendy
An experiment was conducted to examine skill differences in the control strategy for computer program comprehension. A computer program along with its hierarchy of program plans was provided to 10 intermediate and 10 novice computer programmers. Each program plan is known as a program segment to the subjects. A random list of plan goals was also provided to the subjects. The subjects were asked to match each program segment with its goal while they were comprehending the program. Several measures of the subjects' performance and control strategy were collected and analysed. The results indicated the use of an overall top-down strategy by both intermediates and novices for program comprehension. Novices' control strategies involved more opportunistic elements than experts' in the overall top-down process of program comprehension. Those differences in the control strategy between intermediates and novices result in better performance in intermediates than novices.
Towards the Development of Classes of Interaction: Initial Illustration with Reference to Off-Load Planning BIBA 149-181
  Martin Colbert; John Long
In recent years, a number of difficulties in designing interactions between military personnel and their command and control systems have been identified. These difficulties have been attributed to a lack of carry forward between procurement projects. This paper suggests that lack of carry forward is an integral part of current 'case by case' approaches to HCI. Consequently, a fundamentally different approach to HCI is required.
   The approach suggested here is a class approach. A class approach to HCI makes class <--> instance relationships between knowledge representations explicit by organising knowledge representations into class hierarchies. Given such hierarchies, procurement projects may consider the relevance of existing knowledge by attempting to locate the problem at hand within the hierarchy. Thus, a class approach to HCI may encourage carry forward by providing: (a) the opportunity to develop multiple instances of classes of interaction by specialising and instantiating class knowledge representations for the instances at hand; (b) the opportunity to apply research knowledge at different levels of development -- to the development of the class and the instance (not just the case); and (c) an additional means of reasoning about the completeness/selectivity of instance knowledge representations -- with respect to relevant, super-ordinate representations.
   This paper presents an initial illustration of a class approach to HCI. It identifies some key characteristics of a class approach to HCI, and then presents research and development work which exhibits these characteristics. Such an illustration is required, because current understanding about the nature of HCI concerns, and the relationships between HCI knowledge, practices and problems is such that one may not assume that all desirable approaches to HCI are necessarily realisable. Successful initial illustration provides an additional, encouraging precedent for full development of the approach.
Stress, Control and Computer System Design: A Psychophysiological Field Study BIBA 183-192
  David G. Wastell; Michael Newman
The stressful nature of computer-based work is often highlighted in the research literature. In this study, we argue that a well designed computer system should realize the twin aims of enhancing performance and lowering stress. This paper reports on a psychophysiological field study of the implementation of a command-and-control system in an ambulance service. The evaluation revealed both improvements in operator performance and a reduction in stress levels. In particular, it was found that computer support reduced both systolic blood pressure and subjective anxiety during conditions of peak workload. These findings are discussed in terms of Turner and Karasek's integrated model of the relationships between computer system design, task performance and well-being. The success of the computer system was attributed to the support that it gave operators; by enhancing their degree of control it enabled them to cope better in a highly demanding work environment. The study shows that psychophysiological techniques have a valuable role to play in system design/evaluation; and more generally, that systems development methodologies should take greater account of applied psychological research, especially in areas such as stress.
A Modest Experiment in the Usefulness of Electronic Archives BIBA 193-201
  Jon May; Philip J. Barnard
As part of a collaborative long-term research project in human computer interaction (HCI), the use of electronic archiving was studied by making pre-publication material available over the Internet, through anonymous FTP directories and pages on the World Wide Web. The archive was designed to fulfil two aims. First it was a live experiment in computer supported co-operative work. Documents were no longer prepared and distributed in paper form but were made available electronically for use throughout the project. This resulted in substantial economies in the management of the project, virtually eliminating the need for routine mass duplication of all documents and minimizing postage, courier and facsimile costs. Second, the directories also appeared to function well in support of the rapid dissemination of our results to their potential users outside the project. Data on the use of the archive by project and non-project sites are presented here.

BIT 1996 Volume 15 Issue 4

Guest Editorial

Integrating Organizational and Cognitive Approaches Towards Computer-Based Systems BIB 203-204
  Chris W. Clegg; Michael Frese

Integrating Organizational and Cognitive Approaches Towards Computer-Based Systems

Implicit Knowledge and Fault Diagnosis in the Control of Advanced Manufacturing Technology BIBA 205-212
  Peter H. Gardner; Nik Chmiel; Toby D. Wall
Field studies have shown that increasing operator responsibility for running advanced manufacturing technology can substantially enhance system performance. Improved fault diagnosis is central to such performance gains, and observations suggest this depends on implicit as well as explicit knowledge. However, the question of whether this is the case has not been systematically investigated. Evidence from field settings is circumstantial, and laboratory investigations of implicit knowledge have been based on other types of task. In this paper we described a study of implicit knowledge in fault diagnosis based on laboratory simulation of a robotics line. This confirms the existence of implicit knowledge in fault diagnosis, as well as raising both conceptual and methodological issues relevant to experimental approaches. We discuss the implications of the study for organizational practice and for the interaction between cognitive and organizational psychology.
Planning and Knowledge about Strategies: Their Relationship to Work Characteristics in Software Design BIBA 213-225
  Sabine Sonnentag
This paper describes an empirical study of software design processes in which both cognitive (i.e. planning the work process, knowledge about strategies) and organizational (i.e. work characteristics) factors were examined. Thirty-five software designers with an average professional experience of 6.6 years worked on a software design task in a laboratory setting. Thinking-aloud protocols were analysed, and additional interview and questionnaire data were gathered. It was found that software designers do very little explicit planning but have a broad knowledge of useful strategies. Results of regression analyses indicated that the amount of explicit planning and knowledge of strategies is predicted by the amount of design work to accomplish, communication and cooperation requirements, and control at work.
Don't Underestimate the Problems of User Centredness in Software Development Projects -- There Are Many! BIBA 226-236
  Torsten Heinbokel; Sabine Sonnentag; Michael Frese; Wolfgang Stolte; Felix C. Brodbeck
On the basis of a longitudinal field study of 29 commercial software development projects, the pros and cons of user centredness in software development were analysed. We looked at two concepts: user participation -- an organizational device -- involving a user representative in the team, and user orientation -- a cognitive-emotional concept -- which pertains to positive attitudes towards users. Both were found to be associated with project difficulties relating to process and product quality as well as overall project success. We suggest that the issue is no longer whether or not to involve users, but instead to develop a realistic understanding of the difficulties associated with user centredness.
Software Development: Knowledge-Intensive Work Organizations BIBA 237-249
  Chris W. Clegg; Patrick E. Waterson; Carolyn M. Axtell
We report the findings from three studies of software development projects using a series of questions framed to provide a more detailed understanding than usually pertains of the management and organization outcomes and derivations of work organization. We discuss some practical and theoretical implications of this work; in particular we conclude that these are knowledge intensive work organizations that current theory is ill-equipped to address these practices, and that their analysis and understanding requires both organizational and cognitive explanations.
Scenarios for System Development: Matching Context and Strategy BIBA 250-265
  Marjolein A. G. van Offenbeek; Paul L. Koopman
A comparison of seventeen contingency models for system development (SD) led to the conclusion that no model supports all requested activities: diagnosing the context, describing alternative approaches, matching context and approach, looking at social organizational issues, and supporting a dynamic fit between context and approach. This study paid special attention to the social and organizational aspects of system development. Our contingency model specifies five possible types of risk (functional uncertainty, conflict potential, technical uncertainty and resistance potential) in system development that should be controlled. For each type, a corresponding proposition about its control was derived from this model and analysed in seven system development processes. We succeeded in explaining the outcome of the development process through the fit between context and situation, thereby gaining some preliminary support for the model. Still, the limitations of such a contingency model are to be taken seriously.
Becoming Social: Expanding Scenario-Based Approaches in HCI BIBA 266-275
  John M. Carroll
Scenarios of use support the integration of cognitive and organizational approaches to human computer interaction (HCI) by providing a rich representation of activity from which cognitive and organizational perspectives can be developed. In this paper, a 'cognitive' approach to scenario-based analysis and design -- one focused on causal relationships implicit in episodes of individual problem-solving and learning -- is extended by emphasizing an organizational work view of social causes and effects.
Knowledge-Based Systems from a Socio-Cognitive Perspective BIBA 276-288
  Gerhard Strube
Recent trends in the design and development of knowledge-based systems (KBSs) arc discussed with special emphasis on issues that relate to situated knowledge. A knowledge base is regarded as a model of expertise that acknowledges the embeddedness of expert knowledge in social interaction and in the workplace in general. KBS development is viewed as an instance of socio-technical design. Experience from several European projects is recounted to illustrate the issues addressed. Suggestions for KBS development are presented as methodological guidelines, with special emphasis on systems employing case-based reasoning.

BIT 1996 Volume 15 Issue 5

Editorial BIB 289-290
  Tom Stewart

Simple or Easy?

Complexity of User Interfaces: Can it be Reduced by a Mode Key? BIBA 291-300
  Jochen Musseler; Cristina Meinecke; Johannes Dobler
Control panels of computer and other modern instruments are often equipped with so-called mode keys, the pressing of which changes the function of other control elements. Thus user keys have different functions depending on the current mode of the instrument. The question is, however, whether it is more user friendly to have a panel with parallel arranged keys for each function (thus with almost direct possibility to intervene), or to have serial equipment with only a few user keys, where the different functions are only available if the user calls up the relevant machine mode (e.g. displayed on a monitor that operates with different switchable screens). In this case there exist only serial access possibilities. Two experiments compared performances with three types of user interfaces with and without mode keys on the basis of selection times and errors. Although mode keys apparently reduce the complexity of the user interface, our results show that they lead to slower and more often incorrect usage. However, the amount of practice was a moderator variable. As a consequence, for occasional users it is worth considering a less complex interface, that is, with mode keys, but for expert users an interface where each function has its own key should be preferred.
One Size Fits All -- Or Does It? BIBA 301-312
  Reima Suomi
There seem to be two driving forces in systems development. Systems can be developed based on either tradition or on innovation. Whereas tradition often has much to offer in planning information systems of an operational character, strategic information systems clearly necessitate new ways of thinking, i.e. innovation. You can't get any advantage with information systems without being original. Therefore, rigid methods initially designed for the development of operative information systems and based on following up old established conventions are not suitable for the development of strategic systems. Such methods, based on a technical view of information systems, also ignore the social dimensions of computing, whereas innovative uses of computers create new and socially acceptable ways to use computers. In order to clarify the ideas we shall first discuss the difference between operational and strategic information systems. Discussion on the 'traditional methods' for building operational systems is conducted and their characteristics that inhibit innovation and creativity are reviewed. Based on this discussion, it is claimed that strategic information systems exhibiting innovative solutions should not and cannot be built based on methods derived from the building of operational information systems. We will also take up the factors allowing and at the same time demanding innovation. Several Finnish examples of innovation in information systems are presented.

Resistance to Change

An Attributional Explanation of Individual Resistance to the Introduction of Information Technologies in the Workplace BIBA 313-330
  Mark J. Martinko; John W. Henry; Robert W. Zmud
This article proposes an attributional explanation for individual resistance (or acceptance of) information technology. The focus of the article is on the dynamic process of how individuals make attributions for failed as well as successful experiences with information technology and how this process influences individual resistance of new or changing information technologies. Procedures for decreasing individual resistance to (and, hence, increasing acceptance and use of) information technologies are suggested.

Opinion -- Quality Matters

Importance of the Quality of Human-Software Interaction in Expert Systems BIBA 331-335
  Agnes Werner
Numerous expert systems operate with more or less success in Hungary, primarily in pharmaceutics, banking, finance and industry. Naturally, the number of these is significantly lower than those used in West European countries like the United Kingdom, France or Germany. Several companies strive to develop these systems, unfortunately in many cases their efforts are in vain. As local facilities (financial background) are not suitable either there are no means to complete the system begun or sufficient time has not been spent on developing suitable human-computer interactions. There are many initiatives to develop the user interface and make knowledge defined in the expert system more exact in the hope of improving usability. I would like to set down some ideas related to this.

Book Review

"Proceedings of the HCI'95 Conference 'People and Computers X'," edited by M. A. R. Kirby, A. J. Dix and J. E. Finlay BIB 336
  Jan Noyes

BIT 1996 Volume 15 Issue 6

Editorial BIB 337-338
  Tom Stewart
Reducing Conflicts in Groupware: Metafunctions and their Empirical Evaluation BIBA 339-351
  Volker Wulf; Markus Rohde
Certain functions in groupware affect more than one user who might have conflicting interests. To describe conflicts arising from the use of groupware functions, we distinguish the roles of the activator and the user affected. As technical means to lessen these conflicts, we develop two metafunctions: visibility of use and negotiability. We expect that these metafunctions reduce role-based conflicts and lead to higher acceptance of groupware-systems among users. To examine these hypotheses we performed an empirical study in six different organizations. Using scenarios to present different design options to users, we confirmed most of our assumptions. Implications of these findings for the design of groupware are discussed.
Information Administrative Support of Decision Processes in Organizations BIBA 352-362
  Carl Martin Allwood; Lisbeth Hedelin
Twenty-four high-level managers, working with information administration, from twenty large organizations of different kinds, were interviewed about how they perceived information administration and present information administrative practices. ADP-managers saw greater promise in the concept of information administration than did information managers. Many informants were concerned that planned information administration could lead to control and restriction of the information flow rather than to a supportive and facilitative approach. Furthermore, most informants reported various deficiencies in current information handling practices. The consequences of the results for improved IT use in organizations are discussed.
User Involvement in the Systems Design Process -- A Practical Guide for Users BIBA 363-377
  Leela Damodaran
Increasingly users find themselves 'involved' in IT design projects. This occurs because the organizational culture of the parent organization purports to promote participation, or because structured design methods are being used which require users to play a part. In either case users who find themselves required to participate in IT projects are frequently unclear about what this requires. In most organizations surprisingly little briefing on the users' role in design projects is provided. Users are therefore confused about their brief and concerned about their lack of expertise in computing. Although research reports on participatory design (PD) projects abound, little coherent guidance for the key stakeholders representing users' interests is available. The contents of this paper go some way towards filling the gap. Clear differentiation is made in the paper between the roles of the different players involved. Detailed guidance is provided for meeting the varied requirements of the different roles. For example, the roles of 'top' management and 'middle' management in supporting user involvement are explored, their special responsibilities specified and required actions listed. The need for an infrastructure to support user involvement and how to create one is discussed. Guidance is provided on, for example, the representation process and the factors to consider in selecting user representatives. The role of user representatives is particularly problematical and therefore receives particularly close attention. Finally guidance is given regarding the common pitfalls in Quality Assurance procedures and especially how to avoid the procedures becoming a meaningless 'rubber-stamping' exercise. The guidance presented is grounded in the extensive experience of the author in participative design processes in a wide variety of contexts including the footwear industry, a major UK government department and a telecommunications and broadcasting company.

Book Review

"Re-Engineering the Enterprise," edited by Jim Browne and David O'Sullivan BIB 378
  Neil D. Burns