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Behaviour and Information Technology 17

Editors:Tom Stewart
Publisher:Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Standard No:ISSN 0144-929X
Links:Table of Contents
  1. BIT 1998 Volume 17 Issue 1
  2. BIT 1998 Volume 17 Issue 2
  3. BIT 1998 Volume 17 Issue 3
  4. BIT 1998 Volume 17 Issue 4
  5. BIT 1998 Volume 17 Issue 5
  6. BIT 1998 Volume 17 Issue 6

BIT 1998 Volume 17 Issue 1

Editorial BIB 1-2
  Tom Stewart
Positioning HCI: Journals, Descriptors and Parent Disciplines BIBA 3-9
  Pedro Valero; Andrew Monk
The first part of this paper cautions against the injudicious use of citation data to rank journals. The second and main part presents a correspondence analysis of the descriptors assigned by abstractors to papers in five HCI, two human factors and three psychology journals. This analysis makes it possible to position the journals in a space of descriptors. The HCI journals form a cluster distinct from the psychology and human factors journals, suggesting HCI has now separated from its parent disciplines. Further, it is possible to position individual journals, for example, Behaviour & Information Technology is identified as an HCI journal with a leaning towards human factors.
Remote Ultrasound using Cooperative Video: A Field Study BIBA 10-17
  David V. Beard; Brad M. Hemminger
In this ultrasound field study, patients were examined by a technologist in a separate room from the radiologist. Two-way audio and the NTSC video signal from the ultrasound probe were provided to the remote radiologist. Data were collected using observation, surveys, and interviews. Of particular interest was how often the radiologists felt it clinically necessary to walk to the examination room and interact directly with the patient, indicating a failure of the technology. The system was judged viable with no cases requiring hands-on viewing during the last 3 weeks of the 5-week study. Based on this experience, such video technology has been purchased and is currently in use in the clinic. Similar pilot studies are recommended during introduction of remote consultation facilities to improve technology interaction, develop new organizational procedures, and insure minimal interpersonal conflicts.
Visualization using Colour: Visual Presentation of Events in Particle Physics BIBA 18-26
  Hans Drevermann; David Travis
This paper applies a model of colour vision to achieve optimal use of colour in a software system that visualizes the results of experiments in high energy physics. It shows how the elements of the visualization were designed and provides details of why particular colours were chosen. By grounding these findings in psychological research, it is able to show how other computer systems that use colour may profitably apply this methodology.
It's Not Really Theft!: Personal and Workplace Ethics that Enable Software Piracy BIBA 27-40
  Darryl A. Seale; Michael Polakowski; Sherry Schneider
This study examines predictors of software piracy, a practice estimated to cost the software industry between $4 and $12 billion in lost revenue annually. Correlates with software piracy were explored using responses from a university wide survey (n = 589). Forty-four percent of university employees reported having copies of pirated software (mean = 5.0 programmes), while thirty-one percent said they have made unauthorized copies (mean = 4.2 programmes). A structural model was developed based on (1) previous studies of software piracy, (2) consequential aspects of intellectual property, and (3) the theories of planned behaviour (Ajzen 1985), and reasoned action as applied to moral behaviour (Vallerand et al. 1992). This model indicates that social norms, expertise required, gender, and computer usage (both home and at work), all have direct effects on self-reported piracy. In addition, ease of theft, people's sense of the proportional value of software, and various other demographic factors were found to affect piracy indirectly. Theoretical as well as practical implications for the design and marketing of software are discussed.
The Consideration of Organizational Issues During the Systems Development Process: An Empirical Analysis BIBA 41-51
  N. F. Doherty; M. King
The lack of consideration of organizational issues in systems development can lead to project failure. A review of the literature and a pre-test survey suggested classifying organizational issues into five categories and examining how these are considered by IT managers. A postal survey with responses from 64 senior IT specialists over a cross section of industry and commerce showed that there is a general awareness of the importance of organizational issues but there was little consensus on how they should be addressed in the development process. These IT managers were consistent in spending most effort on the issues perceived as most important from the list of 14 issue provided, but there was considerable variation in which specific issues they rated most important. In general those organizational issues with a 'technical' aspect were given more prominence than those which are less tangible, but which may be more critical to a system's success.
The Influence of Time on Error-Detection BIBA 52-58
  E. J. A. Verheijen; L. M. de Bruijn; F. L. Van Nes; A. Hasman; J. W. Arends
Secretaries are needed to type out the reports dictated by medical specialists. Even with a large transcription department it takes more than a day before a dictated report is ready to be sent to the people concerned. The use of automatic speech recognition (ASR) can shorten this time interval. A disadvantage is that ASR systems still make errors. As reports must be error-free a lot depends on the pathologists' correction capabilities. The correction procedure that pathologists currently use may not be adequate for correcting ASR errors. To be able to correct the reports pathologists must be able to recollect the structure and contents of their dictation. Their recollection is likely to be better with less time between dictation and correction. In this paper correction performance on the same day as dictation is compared with correction the day after. To be able to make this comparison, errors were artificially introduced into the pathologists' reports. No difference between the conditions was observed, but it was found that pathologists had great difficulty correcting the reports. It is concluded that their current correction procedure is inadequate to correct ASR errors and may be inadequate altogether.
User Performance Differences between Relational and Entity Relationship Models: A Summary Review of the Literature BIBA 59-61
  Hock C. Chan
There are differing views on the importance of the differences between the relational model and the entity relationship (ER) model. The actual impact of the model differences on user performance is reported here. A summary of the very few experiments that compared user performance for the ER model and the relational model is presented. The overall result from the experiments is that user performance is usually better, and often significantly better, with the ER model than with the relational model.

BIT 1998 Volume 17 Issue 2

Editorial BIB 63-64
  Tom Stewart

Laws, Standards and Regulations

Implementing the Directive for VDU Work -- The EU-State of the Art BIBA 65-81
  Chris Stary; Thomas Riesenecker-Caba; Jorg Flecker
In order to improve occupational health and safety conditions in the workplace, several national directives and international standards have been defined. In 1990 the European Union (EU) defined such a directive, i.e. a minimal set of ergonomic requirements that should be met at workplaces equipped with Visual Display Units (VDUs). In order to put the directive to work, existing measurements have been reviewed to evaluate how far they support the implementation of the directive. The instrument that should be used finally for checking VDU-workplaces should not hinder the work flow and the organizational development of a company. The instrument should rather support the effective evaluation of all VDU-workplaces according to the directive. The investigations in this paper focus on the analysis of 18 techniques for measurement stemming from different disciplines. The directive addresses several different perspectives including human cognition, organization of work and technical features. However, an absence of comprehensive measurements has been identified. Most of the existing techniques for measurement focus either on users, user interfaces or on organizational issues. In order to support the development of a comprehensive instrument to check the minimal requirements of the EU directive EU-CON, a technique for evaluation and re-design of VDU-work has been developed.

Remember POTS?

An Experimental Evaluation of Preferences for Data Entry Method in Automated Telephone Services BIBA 82-92
  J. C. Foster; F. R. McInnes; M. A. Jack; S. Love; R. T. Dutton; I. A. Nairn; L. S. White
This paper reports an experiment to investigate users' preferences amongst three modes of data entry in an automated home shopping service: DTMF input on the telephone keypad, and isolated word (IW) and connected word (CW) speech input. Preferences were measured both by means of attitude questionnaires and by giving participants an explicit choice among the three versions of the service once they had experienced them all. Users' attitudes to the service with a given mode of data entry were found to vary according to their cognitive skills (verbal and spatial abilities) and according to whether they had previously experienced a different data entry mode. Overall, DTMF and CW were rated similarly, and were strongly preferred to IW. Implications of these findings for the implementation of telephone-based services are discussed.
The Auditory AlphaWheel: A Challenge to Digit Code Representation of Objects BIBA 93-102
  M. Goldstein; M. Karlberg; M. Wilkne
Two public Swedish telephone voice response information services, using the traditional digit code paradigm for object representation, were implemented using the new auditory AlphaWheel paradigm. The paradigm is a software-implemented direct manipulation interface of the alphabet. Usability was tested experimentally, using the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) usability model. Ten naive subjects participated in a test of each service, using both digit code and AlphaWheel paradigms. Some tasks required significantly longer completion time and more keystrokes using the new AlphaWheel paradigm. However, flexibility is high, since the new paradigm does not require access to any (code) manual. 70% of the users preferred the AlphaWheel application. Vocabularies limited to 400-500 objects are well suited for the paradigm, since in over 90% of the cases, only 1-2 of the initial letters of a name have to be elicited in order to generate a suitably constrained output set of objects.

Case Studies

Triangulation Strategies in User Requirements Investigations: A Case Study on the Development of An IT-Mediated Service BIBA 103-112
  Matti A. Kaulio; I. C. Marianne Karlsson
Effective investigations of user requirements for products and services are most often discussed in terms of which method to use. Nevertheless, when user investigations are planned and carried out in a system design context, several related aspects must be considered. For example: Which users should be included? Where should the study be carried out? How should data be collected? and What kind of information is relevant to what stage of the design process? In this paper, the concept of triangulation is introduced as a 'conceptual tool' for managing the multidimensionality of user requirements investigations. To illustrate how triangulation works, a case study of the user requirements investigation process for a home-shopping service system is presented. Three types of triangulations: location, knowledge, and methodological triangulation are identified and defined, and are proven appropriate in the characterization of strategies of user requirements investigations. Moreover, the concept of triangulation as a means for increasing the reliability of a user requirement investigation, as well as some underlying factors in determining a triangulation strategy are discussed.
Leveraging Information Technology to Achieve the IT2000 Vision: The Case Study of an Intelligent Island BIBA 113-123
  Thompson S. H. Two; Vivien K. G. Lim
Although many developing and developed countries have major initiatives to promote the use of information technology (IT), Singapore is one of the few countries which not only has a comprehensive IT2000 vision, but which is also taking proactive steps to make the vision a reality. This paper examines how Singapore is currently leveraging IT applications to achieve the IT2000 vision. It also explores some of the uses of IT that will be deployed in the near future. Specifically, this paper discusses the use of IT applications to provide one-stop, non-stop government and business services, promote cashless transactions, provide more options for leisure, and facilitate easy commuting.

BIT 1998 Volume 17 Issue 3

Editorial BIB 125-126
  Tom Stewart

Case Studies

Development of a User-Centred IT Strategy: A Case Study BIBA 127-134
  Leela Damodaran
This case study documents a twelve month programme of work commissioned by a major British telecommunications and broadcasting company. The brief was to develop a corporate strategy for the effective exploitation of Information Technology (IT) which took due account of human and organizational requirements of IT. The paper explains how human factors principles were applied within this organizational context to develop a user-centred IT strategy. The approach involved the application of a simultaneous 'top down' and 'bottom up' approach. The 'top down' analyses established the corporate goals of the company to be supported by IT. The 'bottom up' data collection process revealed the realities and limitations of IT use in the company. The gap between the desired future requirements of IT in the company and the present experience of IT 'on the ground' was thus made explicit and clear. Specifying the required infrastructure, the policies, procedures, processes and mechanisms necessary to close this gap provided the agenda for the IT strategy development process. It was considered crucial that the eventual strategy should be 'owned' by key stakeholders (i.e. influential IT providers and senior managers of user departments) as well as by end-users. Involvement of end-users was promoted by assigning to them the task of collecting interview data on user experience of IT in the company. This user experience data informed (as one of several inputs) the deliberations of the key stakeholders given the task of agreeing the key components of a corporate IT strategy. In a workshop setting, the stakeholders discussed and eventually agreed a draft strategy document to recommend to the Board of Directors who had commissioned the exercise. In due course the IT strategy document was accepted by the Board and implementation set in motion. The IT strategy development process described in this paper indicates that the systematic application of HF principles to corporate strategy formulation can be viable and effective. However it is evident that such an exercise can only succeed where there is whole-hearted commitment to a user-centred process by key individuals in an organization.
Improving the Availability and Cost-Effectiveness of Guidelines for Guideline-Users: Towards a Structured Approach BIBA 135-140
  Alan Arnfeld; John Rosbottom
The achievement of design and development solutions can be enhanced through consulting appropriate guidelines Although a wide range exist, frequently their full benefits are not realized by guideline-users because of the costs associated with their use. Guideline-users are people who use guidelines to support purposeful activity. Major cost drivers for guideline-users are the processes of 'selecting' appropriate guidelines and their subsequent 'translation' to an applied setting both of which can be prohibitively expensive. A strategy for producing guidelines is proposed, to minimize these costs, which is illustrated by the use of a case study concerned with the development of guidelines to assist in the production of management and administrative tools which will support project managers concerned with Human Factors Acceptance Testing. A process to support the assessment of guidelines is also proposed.
Using a Bilingual Group Support System BIBA 141-144
  Milam Aiken; Hugh Sloan; Jeanette Martin
Differences in language and culture among participants in a meeting can present tremendous barriers to efficient and effective communication. Cultural and lingual barriers are becoming increasingly important issues to international managers as businesses continue to expand globally. This paper describes a group support system (GSS) which reduces many of these lingual and cultural barriers in groups composed of Spanish and English speakers.

Design and Evaluation Techniques

End User Dialogue Context Management of Office Automation Systems BIBA 145-151
  James Ang; Claude Vanneste; Gang Lu
Office work is situated social action, a notion that includes both the social actions of computer systems in their interactions with office workers and other computer systems. This notion can be operationalized by dialogue context, which can then be used as a design parameter in office information systems. Observational data were collected by video recording a secretary's activities over an 8 hour duration. The data were analysed and discussed with the secretary to identify her action units. These action units were then related using an action graph. An interpretation of the action graph and observational data suggest certain features that a dialogue context management mechanism should have. They are: (1) a good match between applications and activities, (2) automated tools to support routine activities, and (3) informative and manageable metaphor to model the real world.
MOTHER: System for Continuous Capturing of Display Stream BIBA 152-154
  Marja-Riitta Kivi; Tapio Gronfors; Antti Koponen
This paper describes an efficient technique to record display output stream with memory resident software. This kind of recording can be made useful for studying text writing processes experimentally, for example programmers behaviour during coding. The system is inconspicuous in test situation and does not seem to affect the testees working. Separate software has been developed for reviewing captured sessions.

Experimental Studies

Persuasiveness of Expert Systems BIBA 155-163
  Jaap J. Dijkstra; Wim B. G. Liebrand; Ellen Timminga
Expert system advice is not always evaluated by examining its contents. Users can be persuaded by expert system advice because they have certain beliefs about advice given by a computer. The experiment in this paper shows that subjects (n = 84) thought that, given the same argumentation, expert systems are more objective and rational than human advisers. Furthermore, subjects thought a problem was easier when advice on it was said to be given by an expert system while the advice was shown in production rule style. Such beliefs can influence expert system use.
Computer-Mediated Communication and Media Preference: An Investigation of the Dimensionality of Perceived Task Equivocality and Media Richness BIBA 164-174
  John D'Ambra; Ronald E. Rice; Marcus O'Connor
Computer-mediated communication is the foundation of networking and electronic communities. As the use of new communication technologies continues to proliferate throughout organizations, new modes of interaction between individuals and groups emerge, presenting alternative media choices. How individuals choose between these modes has stimulated much research into theoretical perspectives of media choice within networked and electronic communities. Media Richness Theory is one of these theoretical perspectives. The research presented in this paper investigates the underlying factors of Media Richness Theory, task equivocality and media richness. The results obtained provide evidence to suggest that equivocality may not be unidimensional, and that the richness of media is perceived multidimensionally in terms of the information carrying capacity of media. The findings on dimensionality of equivocality raise doubts as to the basic assumptions of this concept and media richness theory.
Design Issues in a Semiotic Description of User Responses to Three Interfaces BIBA 175-184
  Kecheng Liu; Geoff Crum; Kristian Dines
Semiotics has been used as a theoretical basis for systematizing the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of human-computer interaction. This paper focuses on the descriptive qualities of semiotics which are useful for understanding the user perspective of computer systems. The end goal is to assess the application of such semiotic description in interface design. An experiment is presented in which volunteers were asked to use and describe three interfaces created with the Apple Macintosh product Hypercard. A semiotic interpretation is given to their responses based on six principles taken from the relevant literature. The evaluation is then used to lay down a set of general guidelines for interface design.

BIT 1998 Volume 17 Issue 4

Editorial BIB 185-186
  Tom Stewart

Experimental Observations

Psychological Factors in Virtual Classroom Situations: A Pilot Study for a Model of Learning through Technological Devices BIBA 187-194
  Filomena Papa; Marco Perugini; Sandra Spedaletti
Multimedia Communication Systems (MMCS) are particularly promising for the realization of advanced virtual classroom situations, in which people spatially distributed can communicate in real time using text, voice, sound, still and moving pictures. They could provide the opportunity to improve flexibility of learning and cooperation in the learning team. On the other hand, there is evidence that the availability of MMCS in a distance learning situation does not ensure their use and adoption by the users. Among the barriers to the diffusion of these forms of distance learning, human factors, in particular psychological factors, may play a prominent role. On these topics further theoretical and experimental work is needed. In order to examine these topics a new tool has been implemented at Fondazione Ugo Bordoni (Roma): the distance learning laboratory (DLL). This tool is being utilized in an investigation concerning the use of virtual classroom situation realised using multimedia systems. The present paper is related to the explorative phase of the investigation. In particular its main objectives are: a) to present a pilot study (realised using the DLL) to gain some insights on the psychological variables that can affect performance in virtual classroom situations; b) to propose a Model of Learning through Technological devices (MLT) in a virtual classroom situation. This model has been developed from previous research on computer acceptance, attitudes, social learning, and from the outcomes of our pilot study.
The Effect of Time Pressure on Expert System Based Training for Emergency Management BIBA 195-202
  Dyi-Yih M. Lin; Yuan-Liang Su
In many emergency situations, human operators are required to derive countermeasures based on contingency rules whilst under time pressure. In order to contribute to the human success in playing such a role, the present study intends to examine the effectiveness of using expert systems to train for the time-constrained decision domain. Emergency management of chemical spills was selected to exemplify the rule-based decision task. An Expert System in this domain was developed to serve as the training tool. Forty subjects participated in an experiment in which a computerized information board was used to capture subjects' rule-based performance under the manipulation of time pressure and training. The experiment results indicate that people adapt to time pressure by accelerating their processing of rules where the heuristic of cognitive availability was employed. The simplifying strategy was found to be the source of human error that resulted in undesired decision performance. The results also show that the decision behaviour of individuals who undergo the expert system training is directed to a normative and expeditious pattern, which leads to an improved level of decision accuracy. Implications of these findings are examined in the present study.

Observational Studies

Designing Information Systems for Maximum Use in a Dealing Room Environment BIBA 203-217
  David M. Sowray
The paper reports on an investigation into the users of financial dealing room systems in the City of London. These subjects have used a wide range of interactive systems for a number of years. Retrieving information from such systems is an integral and important part of the professional work of a financial dealer. Use of specific systems and specific features is often discretionary. The results obtained indicate that these users can display expert performance with a subset of each system. The same users also displayed novice performance with a large proportion of the functionality of the same systems. The pattern of known and unknown functions varied from user to user, but appeared not to be related to the user's job tasks. Accommodating such users in the design of future user-interfaces is discussed. Parallels with previous studies into discretionary and casual users are drawn.
Analysing 'Work' in Complex System Tasks: An Exploratory Study with GIS BIBA 218-230
  Clare Davies
It has been suggested that task analysis of human-computer interaction could be enhanced by distinguishing 'work' actions, which perform transformations in the work domain, from preparatory or 'enabling' actions. The work/enabling distinction is discussed alongside related ideas in work study and HCI. This study investigated methodological implications of applying the distinction to complex systems, using videotaped use of geographic information systems (GIS) in real workplaces. The study supports the prescriptive potential of the work/enabling distinction in system design and comparison, although methodological issues include the need for extra categories of behaviour to account for all interaction.

Case Study

Usability and Database Search at the Swedish Employment Service BIBA 231-241
  Carl Martin Allwood; Sara Thomee
In this paper we report on a large-scale developmental project (AIS-95, 12,000 users) at the Swedish Labor Market Administration. The project is analyzed from the point of view of achieving good effective productivity in the final work system. Developmental projects of large size pose special problems in this respect. The aim of the project was to replace the current database application system (AF-90, 8000 users) with an improved system. As a background, we first analyzed the problems the employees have when using the current system (AF-90) from the perspectives of functionality, usability and information needs. No systematic attempt was made in the development project to integrate knowledge about users' problems with the AF-90 project into the AIS-95 project. Furthermore, different forms of user participation were tried in the project but still many users reported feeling a lack of influence on the project. Conclusions are given with respect to how some of the deficiencies found in the present project might be avoided in future large-scale projects.

Usability Evaluation -- Some Conflicting Views

On an Experimental Evaluation of Claim Analysis BIB 242-243
  John M. Carroll
On Our Case Study of Claims Analysis and Other Usability Evaluation Methods BIB 244-246
  Bonnie E. John

BIT 1998 Volume 17 Issue 5

Editorial BIB 247-248
  Tom Stewart
Viewing Personal History Records: A Comparison of Tabular Format and Graphical Presentation Using LifeLines BIBA 249-262
  Diane Lindwarm Alonso; Anne Rose; Catherine Plaisant; Kent L. Norman
Thirty-six participants used a static version of either LifeLines, a graphical interface, or a tabular representation to answer questions about a database of temporal personal history information. Results suggest that overall the LifeLines representation led to much faster response times, primarily for questions which involved interval comparisons and making intercategorical connections. A 'first impression' test showed that LifeLines can reduce some of the biases of the tabular record summary. A post-experimental memory test led to significantly (p< 0.004) higher recall for LifeLines. Finally, simple interaction techniques are proposed to compensate for the problems of the static LifeLines display's ability to deal with precise dates, attribute coding and overlaps.
Integrating Textual and Pictorial Information via Pop-Up Windows: An Experimental Study BIBA 263-273
  Mireille Betrancourt; Andre Bisseret
Following previous research in cognitive psychology, this paper deals with the effect of the spatial display of text-picture information on the user's cognitive processes. Two experiments were carried out to compare three displays on a computer screen: 'split' display (text and picture information displayed in separate areas on the screen), 'integrated' display (text information close to the part of the picture to which it refers), and 'pop-up' display (text information integrated in pop-up fields which appeared only via the user's action). In both experiments, the results showed that the integrated display and to a greater extent the pop-up display led to higher performances for an equal or lower learning time. Thus, these experiments reinforce the hypothesis that material where text and picture are integrated improves learning, especially if text information appears in pop-up fields. Results are discussed from a theoretical and a practical point of view.
Assessing the Usability of On-Line Library Systems BIBA 274-281
  Gabriel K. Rousseau; Brian A. Jamieson; Wendy Rogers; Sherry E. Mead; Richard A. Sit
Computer-based library systems are becoming pervasive throughout public and university libraries. The purpose of the present study was to survey the users of a representative system to assess the degree to which they used the system's functionality, their difficulties with the system, and their experiences learning the system. The majority of the 966 users of the system made limited use of the more advanced system commands and had difficulty understanding how the system works. Importantly, many of the users reported remotely accessing the system, which has implications for the development of training and help systems. The data from the survey are interpreted in the context of suggestions for design and training improvements for library on-line systems.
Understanding Sources of User Variability in Computer-Based Data Entry Performance BIBA 282-293
  Sara J. Czaja; Joseph Sharit; Sankaran Nair; Mark Rubert
The pervasive use of computers in work settings implies that an increased number of workers, with varying levels of skills and abilities, will be performing computer-based tasks. This study investigated the impact of age, cognitive abilities, and computer experience on the performance of a real world data entry task. One hundred and ten subjects, ranging in age from 20-75 years, performed the task for nine hours following task training. The results indicated that abilities such as visuo-spatial skills, motor skills and processing speed had a significant impact on performance as did age and prior computer experience. With respect to age, the older participants completed less work than the younger and middle-aged subjects. Age differences in psychomotor skills and processing speed appeared to be important factors underlying age effects. In fact, the data indicated that after controlling for differences in these abilities age was no longer a significant predictor of work output. Further, after controlling for differences in work output the older people made fewer errors than the younger people. Overall the data suggest that older people will be at a disadvantage in the performance of computer-based data entry work to the extent to which speed of responding is emphasized. However, if speed of responding is not a critical element of performance they will be able to achieve comparable levels of performance to that of younger people.
The Effects of Delay on the Performance of Computerized Feature Systems for Identifying Suspects BIBA 294-300
  Eric Lee; Thom Whalen; Gloria Jollymore; Cathy Read; Marilyn Swaffer
In suspect identification, witnesses examine photos of known offenders in mugshot albums. The probability of correct identification deteriorates rapidly, however, as more photos are examined. Computerized feature systems, which display mugshots in order of similarity to witness descriptions increase success by reducing the number of mugshots examined. Previous experimental tests failed to examine the effects of delay (in eliciting witness descriptions) on recall memory and system performance, as well as the effects of number of raters per mugshot, and live target suspects (rather than using photos of men as targets). In two studies (one with live and one with photo target suspects), subject witnesses described targets after delays varying from several days up to four weeks. Delay had no effect on the number of photos examined, although in the fourth week the accuracy of witness feature descriptions of suspects began to deteriorate. Two raters per mugshot significantly improved performance. More raters did not improve performance further. Regardless of delay, witness searches resulted in photos of target suspects retrieved on average among the first 20-45 mugshots for a database of 1000 mugshots before a target suspect's photo was displayed. The effects of delay on recall memory were similar to those reported previously for recognition memory of faces.
Participating Informally: Opportunities and Dilemmas in User-Driven Design BIBA 301-310
  Martin Beirne; Harvie Ramsay; Androniki Panteli
This paper draws attention to the hidden influence of human subjectivity and informal patterns of social interaction within the systems development process. Through an extended case analysis, it uncovers a level of activity beneath the surface of structured methodologies and formalized arrangements which can be intense and problematical for the various stakeholders yet crucial in rendering systems viable in use.
   By contrast with conventional images of passive, dependent or as yet unenfranchized users, we demonstrate the active agency of grassroots staff in claiming space to assert themselves, taking the initiative and developing their own resources to secure viable systems. Essentially, we offer an account of how two data entry workers breached the terms of their contracts to become de facto designers and programmers, successfully customizing applications software to achieve required functionality despite formalized procedures rather than because of them. Though eventually attracting the tacit approval of managerial grades, this was a tense and struggle-suffused activity for the individuals concerned, and also one which implies a gender dimension to the capacity to control final outcomes. By revealing the dilemmas they confronted, and relating these to an appreciation of the creative space they levered open, we reflect on the wider significance of this episode for ambitions towards participatory design.

BIT 1998 Volume 17 Issue 6

Editorial BIB 311-312
  Tom Stewart

Cognition and Knowledge Representation

Effectiveness of Expert Semantic Knowledge as a Navigational Aid within Hypertext BIBA 313-324
  Swapnesh C. Patel; Colin G. Drury; Valerie L. Shalin
Hypertext systems parse documents into content nodes connected by machine supported links or relationships. Many hypertext researchers claim that the node-link relationships of hypertext provide an information organization that models the structure of human knowledge and should therefore facilitate information access (Fiderio 1988). Yet, failures of information access occur when users lack an understanding of the overall scope and organization of a hypertext system (Gay and Mazur 1991). To support this understanding, the present research incorporated expert-based domain semantics in the design of prosthetic devices for hypertext navigation. The task domain was documentation for a word processing system. In the first experiment, the pathfinder algorithm (Schvaneveldt 1990) and cluster analysis were used to identify a set of expert-based semantic relationships between word-processing concepts. The results from these analyses contributed to the design of two prostheses to assist hypertext navigation: A hierarchical index and a local semantic browser. These aids were tested in a second experiment, crossing type of on-line documentation (semantically enhanced hypertext or an alphabetically indexed text) with level of subject expertise (novice or expert). Both performance and strategy measures suggest that the semantic prostheses improved the accessibility of information for novice users without hampering expert performance.
A Situated Cognition View about the Effects of Planning and Authorship on Computer Program Debugging BIBA 325-337
  Lai-Chong Law
Two experiments were conducted to investigate the relationship between planning and debugging and the effect of program authorship on debugging strategies. Three groups of participants with different programming experiences were recruited. In the first experiment, the participants were asked to develop and debug their self-generated program whereas in the second experiment, they were asked to debug an other-written program where some logical errors were planted. Situated cognition approach, being an emergent cognitive paradigm, furnishes an alternative framework to understand the problems of interest. Deweyan notion of inquiry and Gibsonian theory of affordance are of particular relevance. The results show that planning is ineffective for debugging, irrespective of the programming expertise level and program authorship. Besides, situated debugging is demonstrated to be the preferred strategy which is not significantly related to the program authorship. A model of planning for program debugging and a theory of two-faceted transparency are postulated for explicating the observations.
Representation Still Matters: Cognitive Engineering and User Interface Design BIBA 338-360
  Chris Stary; Mark F. Peschl
With the increased utilization of cognitive models for designing user interfaces several disciplines started to contribute to acquiring and representing knowledge about users, artifacts, and tasks. Although a wealth of studies already exists on modeling mental processes, and although the goals of cognitive engineering have become quite clear over the last decade, essential epistemological and methodological issues in the context of developing user interfaces have remained untouched. However, recent challenging tasks, namely designing information spaces for distributed user communities, have led to a revival of well known problems concerning the representation of knowledge and related issues, such as abstraction, navigation through information spaces, and visualization of abstract knowledge. All of these issues are associated with mental processes and thus, might become part of cognitive models.
   In this paper we reveal epistemological and methodological assumptions in the field of cognitive modeling as well as their implications for user interface design. It turns out that in order to achieve the goal of developing human-oriented (in contrast to technology-driven) human-computer interfaces developers have to develop knowledge of the structure and the representational dynamics of the cognitive systems which are interacting with the computer. We show that in a first step it is necessary to study and investigate the different levels and forms of representation that are involved in the interaction processes between computers and human cognitive systems. We propose a hybrid user modeling approach as part of the task-based development procedure in TADEUS (Task Analysis/Design/End User Systems). The hybrid approach does not only enable the representation of functional roles end users have to perform, but also how end users perform these roles, i.e. the representation and reflection, if not prediction of their behavior. This way, holistic system development that equally takes into account the organizational requirements and the end user reality at work places is facilitated.

Case Study

Predicting the Use and Effectiveness of an Office Automation System (OAS): A Case Study BIBA 361-371
  Luigi Leone; Giacinto Matarazzo
A model for predicting the use and effectiveness of an implemented office automation system (OAS) is presented and applied to a case study. The data was gathered via questionnaires (n=276) administered to a representative sample of employees working in an Italian telecommunication company. The model was tested using a structural equation confirmatory approach. Structural techniques test both the construct validity of measures and the predictive relations among constructs. Results showed satisfactory levels of construct validity of measures; the model proposed predicted significant amount of variance on the criterion constructs. The predictive model proposed is supported by the data; implications are discussed and perspectives are outlined.