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Behaviour and Information Technology 18

Editors:Tom Stewart
Publisher:Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Standard No:ISSN 0144-929X
Links:Table of Contents
  1. BIT 1999 Volume 18 Issue 1
  2. BIT 1999 Volume 18 Issue 2
  3. BIT 1999 Volume 18 Issue 3
  4. BIT 1999 Volume 18 Issue 4
  5. BIT 1999 Volume 18 Issue 5
  6. BIT 1999 Volume 18 Issue 6

BIT 1999 Volume 18 Issue 1

Guest editorial BIB 1
  Arthur I. Karshmer
Reading and Writing Mathematics: The MAVIS Project BIBA 2-10
  Arthur I. Karshmer; Gopal Gupta; Sandy Geiger; Chris Weaver
One of the greatest challenges to the visually impaired student in science and mathematics disciplines is the reading and writing of complex mathematical equations or have convenient access to information based tools such as the world wide web. In research currently underway at New Mexico State University, tools are being built using logic programming to facilitate access to complex information in a variety of formats. On top of the logic based tools, new interfaces are being designed to permit more convenient access to information by our visually impaired students.
TGuide: A Guidance System for Tactile Image Exploration BIBA 11-17
  Martin Kurze
I present a guidance system for blind people exploring tactile graphics. The system is composed of a new device using eight vibrating elements to output directional information and a guidance software controlling the device. The evaluation of the system is also described.
Auditory Navigation in Hyperspace: Design and Evaluation of a Non-Visual Hypermedia System for Blind Users BIBA 18-26
  Sarah Morley; Helen Petrie; Anne-Marie O'Neill; Peter Mcnally
This paper presents the design and evaluation of a hypermedia system for blind users, making use of a nonvisual interface, non-speech sounds, three input devices, and a 37 node hypermedia module. The important components of an effective auditory interface are discussed, together with the design of the auditory interface to hypermedia material. The evaluation, which was conducted over several weeks and used a range of complementary objective and subjective measures to assess users' performance and preferences, is described. The findings from the evaluation with nine visually impaired student participants are presented. The results from this research can be applied to the design and evaluation of other non-visual hypermedia systems, such as auditory World Wide Web (WWW) browsers and digital talking books.
A Model of Keyboard Configuration Requirements BIBA 27-35
  Shari Trewin; Helen Pain
This paper presents a user model: a computer program which examines the behaviour of a real computer user. The model encompasses four aspects of keyboard use which can present difficulties for people with motor disabilities. Where relevant keyboard configuration options exist, the model chooses appropriate settings for these options. The model bases its recommendations on observation of users typing free English text. It is intended to form part of a dynamic configuration support tool. Empirical evaluation showed the model to be very accurate in identification of a given user's difficulties. Where recommended configuration options were tried by the participants, high levels of error reduction and user satisfaction were found.
Gestures and Multimodal Input BIBA 36-44
  Simeon Keates; Peter Robinson
For users with motion impairments, the standard keyboard and mouse arrangement for computer access often presents problems. Other approaches have to be adopted to overcome this. In this paper, we will describe the development of a prototype multimodal input system based on two gestural input channels. Results from extensive user trials of this system are presented. These trials showed that the physical and cognitive loads on the user can quickly become excessive and detrimental to the interaction. Designers of multimodal input systems need to be aware of this and perform regular user trials to minimize the problem.
Toward the Use of Speech and Natural Language Technology in Intervention for a Language-Disordered Population BIBA 45-55
  Jill Fain Lehman
We describe the design of Simone Says, an interactive software environment for language remediation that brings together research in speech recognition, natural language processing and computer-aided instruction. The underlying technology for the implementation and the system's eventual evaluation is also discussed.
Automatic Babble Recognition for Early Detection of Speech Related Disorders BIBA 56-63
  Harriet J. Fell; Joel Macauslan; Linda J. Ferrier; Karen Chenausky
We have developed a program, the Early Vocalization Analyzer (EVA), that analyses digitized recordings of infant vocalizations. The purpose of such a system is to automatically and reliably screen infants who may be at risk for later communication problems. EVA applies the landmark detection theory of Stevens et al., for the recognition of acoustic features in adult speech, to detect syllables in vocalizations produced by typically developing six to thirteen month old infants. We discuss the differences between adult-specific code and code written to analyse infant vocalizations. In a validity test, EVA achieved 90% agreement in marking 128 landmarks commonly identified by two human judges, was often closer to one or both judges than the humans were to each other. In a second test EVA and a human judge had 86% agreement in identifying 150 landmarks.

BIT 1999 Volume 18 Issue 2

The Use of Icons and Labels in an End User Application Program: An Empirical Study of Learning and Retention BIBA 68-82
  Susan Wiedenbeck
This research compared the learning of an application program whose interface was implemented using buttons with text labels, icons, or a fully redundant combination of icons and text labels. The objective was to: 1) evaluate the success of novice computer users in initially learning to use the application and in later use in a delayed session and 2) measure users' attitudes toward the application. Each session was divided into four blocks, and performance in the blocks was measured in terms of correctness of the tasks performed, time to perform tasks, and number of times the help facility was accessed. In addition, at the end of each session the participants' perceptions of the ease of use and usefulness of the software were measured. The results showed that in the first session performance was best on the label-only and icon-label interfaces. Performance on the icon-only interface was much poorer in session 1, particularly in terms of time and help references, but improved in session 2 to the point where it approached the performance on the other interfaces. Retention of skill between the initial and the delayed session was worse for the icon-only interface, but the effect was short-lived. Perceptions of ease of use were consistently better for the icon-label interface than for the other two interfaces. Perceptions of usefulness were higher for the icon-only and icon-label interfaces than for the label-only interface in the first session. Perceptions of usefulness became more positive for the icon-only group in the delayed session, but did not change for the other groups.
Navigational Abilities in Audial Voice-Controlled Dialogue Structures BIBA 83-95
  M. Goldstein; I. Bretan; E.-L. Sallnas; H. Bjork
Four audial navigation structure conditions, designed to support a voice messaging service, each demanding a different degree of cognitive load, were assessed by 40 naive subjects in groups of 10. Three were voice-controlled: Hierarchical, Flexible (direct, no menus) and Guided (Yes/No) and one was keypad-controlled: hierarchical. Voice recognition was simulated by means of a Wizard-of-Oz set-up. The four subject groups were matched regarding spatial ability (High/Low) as measured by the Duremann-Salde battery. Initial interaction performance was observed over six tasks, without providing the subjects with a conceptual model of the navigation structure or an appropriate command syntax. Neither number of completed tasks (4.6-5.1 out of 6), total completion time (701-849 s), nor subjective attitudes differed significantly across navigation conditions. The simple optimum path measure was significant, favouring the guided (4.1 out of 6) as compared to the flexible structure (2.5 out of 6). A significant interaction effect between total completion time and spatial ability was found. Subjects scoring high on spatial ability obtained shorter task completion time than those scoring low, except for the guided structure, where the opposite effect occurred. The results stress the importance of adapting navigating structure to specific user abilities for user environments such as telephone services. A highly guided navigation style, a structure that maximizes optimum path score, suits users with low spatial ability, especially in the initial learning phase.
Acceptance of the Phone-Based Interface for Automated Call Direction BIBA 97-107
  Robert B. Settle; Thomas W. Dillon; Pamela L. Alreck
A survey of 800 adults from the general population was performed to measure public attitudes and reactions toward the phone-based interface for automated call direction (ACD). Attitude, image, calling frequency, behavioral reaction, and demographic data were collected. Results indicate that organizations designing menus for ACD should not anticipate positive reactions from outside callers. Three recommendations can be made from this study: consider the effects on outside callers; minimize the breadth of the menu; and have human operators available.
Attitudes Towards End-User Computing: A Structural Equation Model BIBA 109-125
  Roger W. Harris
Success with End-User Computing (EUC) is dependent on the voluntary behaviour of individuals, which is regulated by their attitudes. Even where proven opportunities exist for beneficial deployment of EUC, adverse attitudes can inhibit use. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse survey data relating to the processes by which individuals form their attitudes towards computers. The results provide support for hypothesized influences on attitudes from personality, product involvement, task characteristics, and computer anxiety. Additional analyses reveal the effects of demographic factors. Attitudes towards computers provide a potentially more enduring measure of EUC success than do previous measures. Mechanisms for promoting positive attitudes towards computers are critical for full appreciation of the benefits of EUC.
Modelling Cyclic Interaction BIBA 127-139
  Andrew Monk
Human-computer interaction (HCI), and much other behaviour, can usefully be thought of as a continuous process of cyclic interaction with the environment. The action someone takes leads to changes to the state of the world. These are evaluated with respect to, and in a manner conditioned by, the user's current goals. This evaluation leads to the reformulation of goals and further action, leading to a new state of the environment, and so. A state-transition model that makes explicit the relationship between user and environment at each stage of interaction is developed that leads to two further representations: (i) the state-transition scenario describing a particular trajectory through the state space; (ii) the statetransition framework defining classes of state-transition model with empirical consequences. Display-driven cyclic models have received considerable attention in the recent HCI literature. One state-transition framework, corresponding to a class of these models, is shown to be inadequate as a theory of human-computer interaction.
Psychological Research of Computer-Mediated Communication in Russia BIBA 141-147
  Olga Arestova; Leonid Babanin; Alexander Voiskounsky
The article is devoted to the earliest Russian research carried out in the computer-mediated communication field. The most important modern directions of psychological research in the computer mediated-communication field in Russia also are described. The first research direction deals with the educational effects of children and adults participation in the computer-mediated communication. The newest direction of psychological and sociological research is concentrated on analysing the dynamics of the networks' users population growth and change. This project is also devoted to the psychological results of computer-mediated communication. The structure of human activity, its orientation basis, emotional and motivational regulation were investigated. A special series of investigations is devoted to the gender differences in computer networking in Russia. The trends of future research in the computer-mediated communication field are also described.

BIT 1999 Volume 18 Issue 3

The IsoMetrics Usability Inventory: An Operationalization Of ISO 9241-10 supporting summative and formative evaluation of software systems BIBA 151-164
  Gunther Gediga; Kai-Christoph Hamborg; Ivo Duntsch
Aiming at a user-oriented approach in software evaluation on the basis of ISO 9241 Part 10, we present a questionnaire (IsoMetrics) which collects usability data for summative and formative evaluation, and document its construction. The summative version of IsoMetrics shows a high reliability of its subscales and gathers valid information about differences in the usability of different software systems. Moreover, we show that the formative version of IsoMetrics is a powerful tool for supporting the identification of software weaknesses. Finally, we propose a procedure to categorize and prioritize weak points, which subsequently can be used as basic input to usability reviews.
Correcting Menu Usability Problems with Sound BIBA 165-177
  Stephen A. Brewster; Murray G. Crease
Future human-computer interfaces will use more than just graphical output to display information. In this paper we suggest that sound and graphics together can be used to improve interaction. We describe an experiment to improve the usability of standard graphical menus by the addition of sound. One common difficulty is slipping off a menu item by mistake when trying to select it. One of the causes of this is insufficient feedback. We designed and experimentally evaluated a new set of menus with much more salient audio feedback to solve this problem. The results from the experiment showed a significant reduction in the subjective effort required to use the new sonically-enhanced menus along with significantly reduced error recovery times. A significantly larger number of errors were also corrected with sound.
Group Processes in Solving Two Problems: Face-to-Face and Computer-mediated Communication BIBA 179-198
  Lillemor Adrianson; Erland Hjelmquist
In this study, an experiment on communication and problem solving in face-to-face communication and computermediated communication was conducted. The latter was performed in two variants; subjects writing under their own name or subjects writing anonymously. The problems were a Social Dilemma problem and a Criminal Puzzle problem. The theoretical starting point was if, and how, the communication form influences social relations, communication equality and communication processes. A qualitative analysis showed that different problems were related to different patterns of the variables studied. The computer-mediated communication solving the Criminal Puzzle problem induced relatively greater idea generation that was not responded to, while the face-to-face communication was associated with relatively more answers. In the Social Dilemma, feedback was relatively more common in face-to-face communication than in computermediated communication. To 'give information about the game' was relatively more common in the anonymous computer-mediated communication than face-to-face situation, indicating that computer-mediated communication is associated with speaker generation of information, but less with responses to the interlocutor. There were no outcome differences or communication equality effects related to communication condition. These results point to the importance of the task related activities in the discussions rather than the importance of medium.
Tailoring Groupware for Different Scopes of Validity BIBA 199-212
  Volker Wulf; Oliver Stiemerling; Andreas Pfeifer
Tailorability is generally regarded as a key requirement for groupware applications. In this paper, we focus on a specific class of tailoring activities: the definition of different system behaviour for specific scopes of validity. Since the state of the art in Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) does not yet offer any satisfactory solutions to support users in performing this class of tailoring activities, we develop an approach based on tailoring statements, which are similar to production rules. We show how inconsistencies resulting from contradictory statements can be handled either automatically or by involving the affected users. We present a prototype which implements our approach to tailorability in a commercial groupware system, using access control as an example for the proposed class of tailoring activities. Finally, we present the results of a usability test carried out which employs the thinking aloud method.
An Empirical Study of Navigation Aids in Customer Interfaces BIBA 213-224
  Jinwoo Kim
Designing effective navigation aids for customer interfaces is critical for the success of cyber shopping malls. Navigation aids can be classified into either basic ones which are based on the structure of the malls or add-ons which are not. Add-on navigation aids provide various short-cuts to promote efficient traversal of the cyber shopping malls, but too many of them would increase the complexity of the customer interface. Metaphors have been used widely for the design of add-on navigation aids, but little research evaluates their impact on the processes and outcomes of customers' behavior in cyber shopping malls. This paper presents an empirical study that investigates the navigation process of customers and the subjective evaluation of their shopping experience. This research implemented two versions of a test-bed cyber shopping mall according to different metaphors used; one based on a spatial metaphor, and the other based on a non spatial metaphor. The results of the experiment indicate that navigation aids based on the spatial metaphor were used more frequently, which resulted in better understanding about the entire structure of the cyber shopping malls, which in turn led to an increased ease of finding target items and also a more pleasant shopping experience. The benefits of navigation aids based on the spatial metaphor became more evident when customers were looking for ad hoc category items rather than common items. This paper presents plausible explanations for the results and implications for the design of navigation aids for cyber shopping malls.
Choosing Electronic Supermarket Customers BIBA 225-228
  Ron Henderson
Electronic commerce setup costs can be expensive to the service provider. For this reason it is desirable that those who undergo the electronic commerce registration process do actually use the service. This current paper explores the notion of the use of a 'weighted application blank' (WAB) to identify individuals who will, or will not, use the electronic commerce service. Participants consisted of 174 individuals registered with an electronic supermarket. Participants completed a short attitudinal questionnaire assessing their attitudes to the electronic supermarket system. Use of the system was then monitored for six consecutive months. From the sample, 73 individuals never used the service in the six months after completion of the questionnaire and 40 used the service for at least five months. A linear discriminant analysis was then conducted to ascertain if a measure could be developed to discriminate between these two groups. The analysis identified that the two groups could be discriminated between, such that a 76.99% correct classification could be made based upon two questions. Next, the function derived from the non-shopper and consistent shopper groups was applied to the full 174 individuals, where the probability level of becoming a consistent shopper was calculated for each individual. False acceptance and false rejection rates were then calculated for each group after manipulating the cut-off source to illustrate how such a system could be used in the operational environment. Collectively, the results suggest that the WAB may be a useful tool in the selection of electronic commerce customers when the service provider incurs some setup costs.

BIT 1999 Volume 18 Issue 4

Nationality as a Factor in the Use of Information Management Technologies BIBA 231-233
  S. R. Jones; P. J. Thomas
In an attempt to uncover various non-technical and behavioural issues relating to the adoption of personal information management (PIM) technologies, an exploratory study was conducted into cultural and nationality factors in the usage of such artefacts. This investigation assessed such usage among two sample groups, comparable on multiple sociodemographic and occupational factors, but situated within historically diverse nations-those of the UK, and the only recently democratized state of the Czech Republic. Particular attention was paid to any differences in the use of 'traditional' paper based as opposed to 'emerging' electronic technologies. The findings suggest that, whilst there was no significant difference in the usage of electronic items between the Czech and UK subjects, a nationality effect was observed in the use of traditional items, this being particularly pronounced in the case of two specific artefacts when taking the use of individual items into account.
Text Entry Using Soft Keyboards BIBA 235-244
  I. Scott Mackenzie; Shawn X. Zhang; R. William Soukoreff
Text entry rates are explored for several variations of soft keyboards. We present a model to predict novice and expert entry rates and present an empirical test with 24 subjects. Six keyboards were examined: the Qwerty, ABC, Dvorak, Fitaly, JustType, and telephone. At 8-10 wpm, novice predictions are low for all layouts because the dominant factor is the visual scan time, rather than the movement time. Expert predictions are in the range of 22-56 wpm, although these were not tested empirically. In a quick, novice test with a representative phrase of text, subjects achieved rates of 20.2 wpm (Qwerty), 10.7 wpm (ABC), 8.5 wpm (Dvorak), 8.0 wpm (Fitaly), 7.0 wpm (JustType), and 8.0 wpm (telephone). The Qwerty rate of 20.2 wpm is consistent with observations in other studies. The relatively high rate for Qwerty suggests that there is skill transfer from users' familiarity with desktop computers to the stylus tapping task.
Methods for Defining User Groups and User-Adjusted Information Structures BIBA 245-259
  Pedro Valero; Jaime Sanmartin
A common problem in the design of information systems is how to structure the information in a way that is most useful to different groups of users. This paper describes some statistical methods for revealing the structure inherent in empirical data elicited from users. It is illustrated by the application of these methods to the design of some web pages giving information about the Universitat de Valencia. Three potential user groups were identified, administrative staff, teaching staff and students. The first analysis demonstrated that users within these three groups assign relatively homogeneous structures, but that the structures assigned by the three groups are not the same, and also, teaching and administrative staff were shown to be relatively similar and different from students. Second, the ideal information structures for each group were identified and validated against the original data. The methods described can be applied to any design situation where there is an existing user population that can be called on to provide data.
Applying Information Technology to the Presentation of Emergency Operating Procedures: Implications for Usability Criteria BIBA 261-276
  Tom Kontogiannis
As a result of their increasing complexity, modern industrial systems have come to rely on written procedures for dealing with various emergencies that might be encountered. Despite the significant effort invested in developing emergency operating procedures, traditional hard-copy procedures have been found inadequate in presenting complex instructions, handling cross-references, tracing suspended or incomplete steps, and in general, monitoring user progress. Developments in information technology have presented new opportunities for resolving these problems in using and adapting procedures. This article reviews current developments and problems with computer-based procedures and proposes a framework for specifying usability aspects of their use. The usability framework addresses critical cognitive activities involved in managing system emergencies and draws upon empirical studies of 'official' and 'selective' uses of procedures in actual practice. Finally, information technology applications are considered within the wider organizational context, such as compliance with procedures, crew communication, and retention of skills.
Attitudes, Satisfaction and Usage: Factors Contributing to Each in the Acceptance of Information Technology BIBA 277-297
  Said S. Al-Gahtani; Malcolm King
This research tests and develops the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), introduced by Davis (1986), which attempts to explain end users' attitudes to computing technologies. It introduces several new variables, including compatibility, user characteristics, system rating and the enduser computing satisfaction (EUCS) construct, a surrogate measure for IT success and acceptance. A questionnaire with over seventy items was completed by a large number of users and LISREL, a technique for modelling a system of structural equations, was used to analyse the responses. The output shows the model as a whole fits the data very well and indicates significant relationships between variables in the model. These results confirm that TAM is a valuable tool for predicting attitudes, satisfaction, and usage from beliefs and external variables. They also show that relative advantage of the system contributed most to attitudes and satisfaction. Compatibility (of the system to the task performed) contributed most to usage and was the most important antecedent of the belief variables, including relative advantage.
Computer Self-Efficacy, Training Effectiveness and User Attitudes: An Empirical Study BIBA 299-309
  Reza Torkzadeh; Kurt Pflughoeft; Laura Hall
Using 414 business undergraduates at two universities in the US, a 28-item computer self-efficacy scale is validated and used to examine the relationship between (a) training and computer self-efficacy and (b) user attitudes and computer self-efficacy. Survey responses were collected both at the beginning and end of an introductory computer course. A principal factor analysis of the computer self-efficacy scale supported a conceptually meaningful four-factor solution with high alpha reliabilities. Results suggest that training significantly improved the computer self-efficacy of males and females in this study for all factors. Training programs seemed more effective for male and female respondents with positive attitudes toward computers. Training programs seemed less effective for respondents with negative attitudes toward computers. Implications of these findings are discussed and research opportunities described.

BIT 1999 Volume 18 Issue 5

Vagueness in Models of Socio-Technical Systems BIBA 313-323
  Thomas Herrmann; Kai-Uwe Loser
This article presents graphical modelling concepts, especially for the modelling of socio-technical processes. This requires the representation of those parts of knowledge which cannot be stated definitely and have to be modelled vaguely. The presented modelling concepts allow the extension of existing graphical and textual modelling methods to model facts without making unnecessary and unwelcome commitments about not already completed knowledge. In the same way, it also allows the modelling of facts which cannot be modelled completely, like aspects of social systems comprising of cooperation and communication. A special modelling notation (SeeMe) is used to present the concepts. A systematic differentiation of vagueness shows the alternative ways for modellers to express vague facts. Expressing undetermined decisions is another element of vague modelling in SeeMe.
Task Modelling for Cooperative Work BIBA 325-338
  S. Killich; H. Luczak; C. Schlick; M. Weissenbach; S. Wiedenmaier; J. Ziegler
Modern work systems are characterized by a high amount of cooperation among working persons. Thus, task modelling for cooperative work is of great significance for an appropriate design of work systems. Due to the special characteristics of cooperative work, several requirements for the modelling technique have to be met. In this paper, first the requirements for a task modelling technique are derived and compared with existing approaches. Then, as no existing technique completely fulfils the important requirement for abstraction in order to model weakly structured activities, a new technique is presented, which is on the one hand essentially based on an existing modelling language for deterministic software intensive systems and on the other hand has been enlarged by additional concepts for being able to model tasks carried out cooperatively by human beings. The results of a case study in which the new technique has been applied are presented and discussed. Finally, an outlook towards future research concerning task modelling for cooperative work is given.
Telecooperation in Decentralized Organizations: Conclusions Based on Empirical Research BIBA 339-347
  Kurt Sandkuhl; Frank Fuchs-Kittowski
In the context of new organizational structures, telecooperation systems have become an essential component, facilitating the joint work of geographically distributed persons or groups. A survey of commercial usage of synchronous telecooperation systems was designed and carried out, in order to gain an insight into the state of, problems with and prospects for use of these systems, enabling one to draw conclusions about the steps required toward a fuller exploitation of their potential. The fundamental conclusion which can be drawn from this survey is that the potential of telecooperation systems can only be fully realized if their use is accompanied by corresponding restructuring measures. This applies in particular to the promotion of group work and the decentralization of organizations.
Teams Without Trust? Investigations in the Influence of Video-Mediated Communication on the Origin of Trust Among Cooperating Persons BIBA 349-360
  M. Muhlfelder; U. Klein; S. Simon; H. Luczak
Based on a model about the origin of trust among persons, who are meeting for the first time, the influence of video-mediated communication on confidence building was tested. Using a 'between-subjects'-design, two groups were compared, one carrying out a cooperative task face-to-face, the other using a video-conferencing system. Three measurements were taken. Measurement 1 registered the effects of anticipation. One group was instructed to get somebody to know faceto-face, the other group should meet their partner by videoconference. Measurement 2 registered the amount of trust the subjects had developed in their partner during the session. Measurement 3 was the analysis of the interpersonal interaction processes during the conversation. The results are that subjects who anticipated a video-conference showed no difference in mean, but a highly reduced variability in their assessment of their counterpart compared to those subjects who anticipated a meeting face-to-face. A similar pattern was observed for measurement 2. However, no systematically meaningful difference in the behavioural categories of measurement 3 could be found. The results are similar to experiments mostly carried out in the 1970s and 1980s, which had focused on comparisons between face-to-face and mediated communication.
Real-Time Collaboration in Design Engineering: An Expensive Fantasy or Affordable Reality? BIBA 361-371
  Carys E. Siemieniuch; Murray Sinclair
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the main issues that are both driving and impeding the implementation and use of CSCW systems within the automotive industry. The paper begins by describing the current competitive pressures within the European Automotive industry and then moves on to highlight the main requirements for real-time collaborative systems, as expressed by various organizations along the automotive supply chain. Finally, the paper presents the results of a recent project in this area and some conclusions on the viability of CSCW technology in the current technical and commercial climate.
Experiences with a Cooperative Design Process in Developing a Telecooperation System for Collaborative Document Production BIBA 373-383
  Konrad Klockner; Uta Pankoke-Babatz; Wolfgang Prinz
This paper describes a cooperative design approach and the experiences collected when applying this approach for developing and introducing a groupware system for the support of collaborative document processing in a geographically distributed ministerial environment. Methods were developed for the elicitation and analysis of explicit and tacit user requirements in work practice. The combination of these methods facilitated a mutual learning process between users and designers. These methods include interviews, laboratory workshops, user and designer workshops, as well as mediation by user advocates who explore users' needs during regular site visits. A portrait of the various methods is given, followed by a description of the experiences with the various types of interactions between the users and design team. This is accomplished with a report from system usage and implications these design methods had on system design.
Changing Interpersonal Communication through Groupware Use BIBA 385-395
  Gloria Mark; Volker Wulf
Interpersonal communication is the basis for almost any type of cooperation. Changing patterns of communication may have an impact on the quality of cooperative work. In this paper, user experiences are described in a long-term groupware project. Communication changes, both planned and unplanned, were examined as a result of the system introduction. Reduced face-to-face communication, task-related and task-unrelated, were found, as well as a changing dissemination of information. Certain losses in interpersonal communication were compensated for by user advocacy and design team-user workshops. It is proposed that with groupware introduction, organizations should consider support for both planned and informal means as compensation for reduced communication.

BIT 1999 Volume 18 Issue 6

User Agreement with Incorrect Expert System Advice BIBA 399-411
  Jaap J. Dijkstra
In the experiment presented in this paper the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM), a social psychological theory of persuasion, was applied to explain why users sometimes agree with the incorrect advice of an expert system. Subjects who always agreed with the expert system's incorrect advice (n = 36) experienced less mental effort, scored lower on recall questions, and evaluated the cases as being easier than subjects who disagreed once or more with the expert system (n = 35). These results show that subjects who agreed with the expert system hardly studied the advice but just trusted the expert system. This is in agreement with the ELM. The experiment also covers an investigation into the factors that moderate user agreement. The results have serious implications for the use of expert systems.
Development of a Methodology for Optimizing Elicited Knowledge BIBA 413-430
  Chin-Jung Chao; Gavriel Salvendy; Nancy J. Lightner
In this paper a conceptual framework and an operational methodology is presented for describing the most appropriate knowledge elicitation method (protocol, interview, induction and repertory grid) for three classes of tasks (diagnosis, debugging and interpretation) and for experts with strengths in various factors of cognitive abilities. Using the dependent variables of: (1) total knowledge captured; (2) time to acquire knowledge; (3) knowledge quality; (4) efficiency of the knowledge elicitation method; and (5) importance of resulting data, experimental results indicate the various strengths of the four knowledge elicitation methods. The knowledge acquired is also significantly affected by the combined factors of expert's strengths in different cognitive factors and the method of knowledge elicitation used. Based on these findings, a Matching Index for combining tasks, knowledge elicitation methods and cognitive abilities of the expert is described. The outcome of this research provides theoretical and practical implications for Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and training of knowledge engineers.
Usability Aspects, Socio-Relational Context and Learning Performance in the Virtual Classroom: A Laboratory Experiment BIBA 431-443
  Augusto Gnisci; Filomena Papa; Sandra Spedaletti
This paper presents a virtual classroom laboratory experiment involving real users. The main aim was to test the effects of two multimedia system configurations with a different degree of interactivity on usability aspects, socio-relational context and learning performance. Results confirm the effectiveness of the multimedia system both in terms of technical and psychological features. No difference between the two configurations was detected for usability and socio-relational factors while learning performance increased in the less interactive configuration. This suggests that for a specific task and for specific learners, less interactive configurations are preferable as they require less technological and training resources. Results are also discussed in terms of the implications for the basic features of multimedia systems used in the virtual classroom and on the correct procedures for training teachers and learners in the use of the equipment.
Redressing the Anxiety Imbalance: Computerphobia and Educators BIBA 445-453
  Brian Wilson
Sixteen computer phobic students were identified in four successive annual intakes of teacher trainees undertaking a Postgraduate Diploma in Education course. Written, behavioural and interview responses were used to identify the phobic groups. Special computer sessions were arranged to try to produce a more balanced attitude towards computers and computing. The students' phobic condition was found to be amenable to change. The sessions included 16 factors that were considered important in reducing student levels of fear. An aggregation and ranking of these therapeutic factors resulted in 10 recommendations for assisting computerphobics redress their anxiety imbalance.
Involving Users in the Specification of Functionality Using Scenarios and Model-Based Evaluation BIBA 455-466
  Paul Van Schaik
The research investigated how input from users can be used to inform system design at an early stage. The study was conducted in the context of a smart card project in an educational organization. Scenarios of smart card system use were developed based on claims analysis. For the purpose of evaluating the scenarios, a model of system acceptance was devised. Evaluation questionnaires based on the acceptance model were developed and used by potential system users to evaluate the scenarios. Multiple regression analysis of the questionnaire responses indicated which causal links in the acceptance model were significant, and enabled the elements of system functionality likely to have an impact on acceptance to be identified. This approach enables the importance of particular system functions to be assessed at an early stage of system design.
Designing Menus for the Chinese Population: Horizontal or Vertical? BIBA 467-471
  Jianming Dong; Gavriel Salvendy
This research investigated the language differences between English and Chinese and the implication on the design of menu presentations for computer interfaces. Eighty Chinese subjects and twenty American subjects participated in this experiment. The results of this research indicated that the menu layout should be congruent with the language being used. Horizontal English menus result in better performance than vertical English menus. However, vertical Chinese menus result in better performance than horizontal Chinese menus. It is important to design menus based on the language being used rather than the linguistic traditions of the population using the interface. The effects of menu layout also depend on whether the search task items were presented in English or Chinese.