HCI Bibliography Home | HCI Journals | About BIT | Journal Info | BIT Journal Volumes | Detailed Records | RefWorks | EndNote | Hide Abstracts
BIT Tables of Contents: 161718192021222324252627282930313233

Behaviour and Information Technology 26

Editors:Tom Stewart
Dates:2007
Volume:26
Publisher:Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Standard No:ISSN 0144-929X
Papers:51
Links:Table of Contents
  1. BIT 2007 Volume 26 Issue 1
  2. BIT 2007 Volume 26 Issue 2
  3. BIT 2007 Volume 26 Issue 3
  4. BIT 2007 Volume 26 Issue 4
  5. BIT 2007 Volume 26 Issue 5
  6. BIT 2007 Volume 26 Issue 6

BIT 2007 Volume 26 Issue 1

Computer support for learning communities BIBFull-Text 1-3
 
Supporting community-based learning: case study of a geographical community organization designing its website BIBAFull-Text 5-21
  Umer Farooq; Craig H. Ganoe; Lu Xiao; Cecelia B. Merkel; Mary Beth Rosson; John M. Carroll
Community computing supports human-computer interaction among neighbours in geographical or place-based community organizations. Using a case study of such an organization, we investigate the process of designing their website. Our long-term participatory design approach, integrating developmental informal learning, allowed us to understand how this community organization adopts, evaluates, and sustains website technology. Based on our case study analysis, we present three design heuristics for developing community-based technology: align and afford new possibilities for participation, dynamically manage organizational knowledge and learning, and enhance social capital within community organizations and with the broader community.
Fostering an informal learning community of computer technologies at school BIBAFull-Text 23-36
  Lu Xiao; John M. Carroll
Computer technologies develop at a challenging fast pace. Formal education should not only teach students basic computer skills to meet current computer needs, but also foster student development of informal learning ability for a lifelong learning process. On the other hand, students growing up in the digital world are often more skilled with computer technologies than their teachers. We describe an online course design project in which a group of students designed an online health course for their middle school, and teachers played the roles of facilitators and learners. We suggest fostering an informal learning community of computer technologies at school as a supplemental method of formal computer education to address the shift in educational context and as a place offering opportunities for students to work on real-life projects and solve real-life problems.
Implementing virtual collaborative inquiry practises in a middle-school context BIBAFull-Text 37-53
  M. Lakkala; L. Ilomäki; T. Palonen
The aim of the present study was to investigate the challenges that relate to the implementation of virtual inquiry practises in middle school. The case was a school course in which a group of Finnish students (N = 14) and teachers (N = 7) completed group inquiries through virtual collaboration, using a web-based learning environment. The task was to accomplish a cross-disciplinary inquiry into cultural issues. The students worked mainly at home and took much responsibility for their course achievements. The investigators analysed the pedagogical design of the course and the content of the participants' interaction patterns in the web-based environment, using qualitative content analysis and social network analysis. The findings suggest that the students succeeded in producing distinctive cultural products, and both the students and the teachers adopted novel roles during the inquiry. The web-based learning environment was used more as a coordination tool for organizing the collaborative work than as a forum for epistemic inquiry. The tension between the school curriculum and the inquiry practises was manifest in the participants' discussions of the assessment criteria of the course.
Learning in asynchronous discussion groups: a multilevel approach to study the influence of student, group and task characteristics BIBAFull-Text 55-71
  T. Schellens; H. van Keer; M. Valcke; B. de Wever
The research reported in the current article studies the impact of learning in asynchronous discussion groups on students' final exam scores and levels of knowledge construction. Multilevel analyses were applied to uncover the specific influence of student, group and task variables. The results indicate that the impact of student characteristics on both dependent variables is of higher significance than characteristics of the discussion group students are allocated to. With regard to levels of knowledge construction, task characteristics also appear to be of importance.
   With regard to final exam scores the analyses reveal a significant impact from student learning style, attitude towards task-based learning, the number of student contributions and the level of knowledge construction in these contributions. No significant group characteristics were observed.
   As to levels of knowledge construction, the analyses revealed that the amount of contributions and the attitude towards the online learning environment are significant predictors. The intensity of the interaction in a group had a significant impact. As to task characteristics, significant differences were found between consecutive themes. These disappeared when taking into account task complexity.
Facilitating asynchronous discussions in learning communities: the impact of moderation strategies BIBAFull-Text 73-80
  Andrea Kienle; Carsten Ritterskamp
A facilitator or moderator is often responsible for supporting processes and their progress in learning communities. In this article we present an approach for supporting moderators of asynchronous processes in learning communities. This approach follows the socio-technical perspective: it includes a theory-based development of moderator tasks and the technical features designed to support these tasks. Starting with relevant work in this area, we describe our approach to moderator support in the collaborative learning environment KOLUMBUS 2. In a qualitative study, a professional moderator facilitated the discussion processes of a group of 12 students based on KOLUMBUS 2. The moderator used different methods and varying levels of participation intervention. The study showed that different intervention strategies led to different levels of student participation and different successes in finding common results at the end of the discussions. Suggestions for the design of technical features are also made.
Reality is our laboratory: communities of practice in applied computer science BIBAFull-Text 81-94
  M. Rohde; R. Klamma; M. Jarke; V. Wulf
The present paper presents a longitudinal study of the course 'High-tech Entrepreneurship and New Media'. The course design is based on socio-cultural theories of learning and considers the role of social capital in entrepreneurial networks. By integrating student teams into the communities of practice of local start-ups, we offer learning opportunities to students, companies and academia. The student teams are connected to each other and to their supervisors in academia and practice through a community-system. Moreover, the course is accompanied by a series of lectures and group discussions. In this paper we want to present our experiences and to reflect upon the design changes between the first and the second instance of the course. The evaluation of the course showed that the work on real-world problems and the collaboration in teams together with partners from start-up companies were evaluated as very positive, although design flaws, and cultural and professional diversities limited the success of the first instance in 2001. For the second course in 2002, the didactical design was improved significantly according to evaluation results, which brought evidence that the design changes resulted in better collaborative practices and more stable relationships between start-up companies and students. Furthermore, it was found that especially the differences in cultural background and different historical experiences between the two distinct groups of 'students' and 'entrepreneurs' might make processes of social identification more difficult and, therefore, successful community-building less likely'.

BIT 2007 Volume 26 Issue 2

Editorial BIBFull-Text 95-97
  Tom Stewart
A study into the effects of personality type and methodology on cohesion in software engineering teams BIBAFull-Text 99-111
  J. S. Karn; S. Syed-Abdullah; A. J. Cowling; M. Holcombe
The aim of the research described in this paper is to gain a qualitative understanding of how cohesiveness relates to personality type, performance and adherence to a particular software engineering methodology (XP). A variety of research methods were employed including ethnographic methods, questionnaires and interviews. An online personality test based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was used to ascertain the personality types, and questionnaires were used throughout the project to measure levels of cohesiveness. Examples of how the teams worked together throughout the project are described, and whether and how this relates to the personality types of the individual members. The results indicate that certain teams were found to work consistently well over the project due to homogeneity in personality type and others were found to be very cohesive due to a mixture of types.
Information systems security and human behaviour BIBAFull-Text 113-118
  Denis Trèek; Roman Trobec; Nikola Pavesiæ; J. F. Tasiè
Until recently, most of the effort for providing security in information systems has been focused on technology. However, it turned out during the last years that human factors have played a central role. Therefore, to ensure appropriate security in contemporary information systems, it is necessary to address not only technology-related issues, but also human behaviour and organisation-related issues that are usually embodied in security policies. This paper presents a template model, which is intended to support risk management for information systems, and which is concentrated on human factors. The model is based on business dynamics that provide the means for qualitative and quantitative treatment of the above-mentioned issues.
End-user adoption of animated interface agents in everyday work applications BIBAFull-Text 119-132
  Alexander Serenko; Nick Bontis; Brian Detlor
Recognizing the potential contribution that interactive software agents bring to everyday work applications, this paper reports on end-user adoption of animated interface agents in one particular work application environment: Microsoft Office. The paper develops and empirically tests a theoretical model of the factors affecting an end-user's choice to adopt and utilize such interface agents. From this theoretical model, a survey instrument was adapted and administered to 261 participants, familiar with animated interface agents. Results from a partial least squares (PLS) analysis indicates that a variety of factors are at play, which inhibit or foster a person's choice to utilize and adopt animated interface agents. Of significance is that: (a) both perceived usefulness and perceived enjoyment are important influencing factors; (b) users with high scores in innovativeness toward information technology are less likely to find animated interface agents enjoyable; (c) individuals with high animation predisposition scores perceive animated interface agents to be more enjoyable; and (d) users who perceive animated interface agents to be more enjoyable also perceive them to be more useful. Such insights can be used to leverage the introduction and rollout of animated interface agents in everyday work applications in ways that promote their avid adoption and use.
Predicting effectiveness of children participants in user testing based on personality characteristics BIBAFull-Text 133-147
  Wolmet Barendregt; Mathilde M. Bekker; Don G. Bouwhuis; Esther Baauw
This paper describes an experiment to determine which personality characteristics can be used to predict whether a child will make an effective participant in a user test, both in terms of the number of identified problems and the percentage of verbalised problems. Participant selection based on this knowledge can make user testing with young children more effective. The study shows that the personality characteristic Curiosity influences the number of identified problems; a combination of the personality characteristics Friendliness and Extraversion influences the percentage of verbalised problems. Furthermore, the study shows that selection of children based on these criteria does not lead to finding an unrepresentative sample of the product's problems.
A survey of what customers want in a cell phone design BIBAFull-Text 149-163
  Chen Ling; Wonil Hwang; Gavriel Salvendy
The cell phone is an information appliance that has been widely used. It provides instant access to information and makes people more 'connected'. The objective of our study is to investigate the relationship among the design features of the cell phone and identify the most important design features and design factors. In our survey study, we asked 1,006 college students using a 7-point Likert scale structured questionnaire to evaluate their preference of the design features and overall satisfaction of their current cell phone. Nine design factors were derived. Ten cell phone design features and five design factors that significantly impact a user's satisfaction were identified. The most important design features are: the physical appearance, size and menu organisation, which together account for 42% of the total variance of a user's overall satisfaction.
Constructing Chinese characters: keypad design for mobile phones BIBAFull-Text 165-178
  Min Lin; Andrew Sears
Increased use of mobile phones and associated services in China highlights the need for effective Chinese input methods for mobile devices. Mapping thousands of characters to a standard telephone keypad is a significant challenge. Structure-based methods provide an appealing known-character/known-code solution, but assigning multiple strokes to each key forces users to learn new, often unfamiliar, mappings. Using an established stroke input method, our study revealed important effects of keypad legend on performance. Novice user performance was evaluated with several alternative keypad designs. The results confirmed that both abstract symbols and concrete examples helped improve the usability of the keypad in Chinese text-entry tasks. Further, combining abstract symbols and concrete examples resulted in performance nearly tripling as compared to the original design. The stroke-to-key mapping accuracy also increased significantly. Handwriting analysis confirmed that the reduced errors are directly associated with the keypad-based text-entry technique.
Using Hollywood's greatest film scenes to illustrate concepts of organisational behaviour and management BIBAFull-Text 179-185
  Steve Dunphy
Great film moments achieve a life of their own. They seem to hang around in the viewer's subconscious mind begging for clarification or, if nothing else, classification. The author proposes using these moments or 'greatest film scenes' for the purpose of illustrating concepts of organisational behaviour and management. A chart is derived that enumerates the top 10 greatest film scenes, associates a relevant management concept or concepts to that scene and then provides a series of citations relevant to the concept. The citations are provided for the purpose of enabling further research.

BIT 2007 Volume 26 Issue 3

Never apologise, never explain BIBFull-Text 187-188
  Tom Stewart
Website task performance by older adults BIBAFull-Text 189-195
  L. Priest; L. Nayak; I. Stuart-Hamilton
The present study examined influences of fluid intelligence and website experience on a website task by 99 community-dwelling older adults (41 males, 58 females, age range 58-90 years) who were screened for visual acuity and major health problems. They were divided into three groups, dependent on their prior website experience (19 with no prior website experience, 55 with low website experience and 25 with high website experience). Perpendicular to this, the participants were divided into low- and high-fluid intelligence groups and into young-old and old-old age groups. Participants performed a website information retrieval task using three health information websites. Performance was assessed by the time taken to retrieve target information. Overall, the three websites significantly differed in the time taken to locate the target information. The website task performance was not significantly influenced by fluid intelligence score or age, but there was a significant influence by prior website experience.
Natural language interface for information management on mobile devices BIBAFull-Text 197-207
  L. Zhou
A natural language interface (NLI) enables the ease-of-use of information systems in performing sophisticated human-computer interaction. To address the challenges of mobile devices to user interaction in information management, we propose an NLI as a promising solution. In this paper, we review state-of-the-art NLI technologies and analyse user requirements for managing notable information on mobile devices. To minimize any technical difficulties arising from developing and improving the usability of NLI systems we develop general principles for NLI design, which fills in a gap in the literature. In order to satisfy user requirements for information management on mobile devices, we innovatively design NLI-enabled information management architecture. It is shown from two usage scenarios that the architecture could lead to reduced effort in user navigation and improved efficiency and effectiveness of managing information on mobile devices. We conclude the article with the implications of this study and suggestions for future direction.
An approach for designing composite metaphors for user interfaces BIBAFull-Text 209-220
  Y. C. Hsu; E. Boling
A composite-metaphor interface is a computer interface consisting of a combination of two or more metaphors. As computer systems have become more sophisticated, researchers have proposed the use of multiple metaphors to design computer systems because they would better match the characteristics of complex target systems; however, due to the difficulty of designing interface metaphors and limited research in this area, there are few guidelines or accepted standards for generating and implementing composite metaphors for interface design. In this paper, the authors propose an approach for designing composite metaphors. We first present the metaphor design strategies as we interviewed eight game designers, then summarise the design considerations from the metaphor literatures. Finally, we propose the design approach for selecting and combining metaphors in designing composite-metaphor interfaces.
Evaluating the behaviour of information systems developers: the relevance and utility of paradigms BIBAFull-Text 221-236
  Zahid Hussain; W. Andrew Taylor
The primary objective of this research was to investigate the behaviour of information systems (IS) developers during the IS development (ISD) process using the four-paradigm framework of Hirschheim et al. (1995), who introduced this approach to uncover the relationships between developers' assumptions and concomitant behaviours. The central issue is whether this four-paradigm framework can be operationalised to categorise the behaviours of IS developers. Using case studies of three UK National Health Service organisations in the North of England, we focus on the behavioural rather than the cognitive (assumptions) aspect of the four-paradigm approach. We employ a multi-method research design based on document analysis, structured interviews and participant observation in both formal and informal project settings. Our findings suggest that the four-paradigm approach is capable of classifying developer behaviour. We identify the existence of multiple paradigms in the ISD process and explore the effects of a dominant paradigm on developers' behaviours.
A theory of personalisation of appearance: quantitative evaluation of qualitatively derived data BIBAFull-Text 237-246
  A. F. Monk; J. O. Blom
Using qualitative data, Blom and Monk (2003) derived a theory of why people choose to personalise the appearance of their PCs and mobile phones. This paper describes some quantitative data that provide some support for, and some modifications to, the theory. Individuals having personal home pages were recruited to fill in a questionnaire that assesses dispositions to personalise and its effects. In addition the 82 home pages were inspected to assess the extent of personalisation. This correlated significantly with the dispositions 'Frequency of Use' and 'Knowledge of Personalisation'. The questionnaire items corresponding to effects were factor analysed. A four-factor solution suggested item groupings similar, but not identical, to those used in the theory. There are significant positive correlations between the extent of personalisation and cognitive effects and enduring emotional effects. The value of quantitative data for confirming and refining a qualitative theory is discussed.
Improving the match between callers and receivers: A study on the effect of contextual information on cell phone interruptions BIBAFull-Text 247-259
  D. Avrahami; D. Gergle; S. E. Hudson; S. Kiesler
A problem with the location-free nature of cell phones is that callers have difficulty predicting receivers' states, leading to inappropriate calls. One promising solution involves helping callers decide when to interrupt by providing them contextual information about receivers. We tested the effectiveness of different kinds of contextual information by measuring the degree of agreement between receivers' desires and callers' decisions. In a simulation, five groups of participants played the role of 'Callers', choosing between making calls or leaving messages, and a sixth group played the role of 'Receivers', choosing between receiving calls or receiving messages. Callers were provided different contextual information about Receivers' locations, their cell phones' ringer state, the presence of others, or no information at all. Callers provided with contextual information made significantly more accurate decisions than those without it. Our results suggest that different contextual information generates different kinds of improvements: more appropriate interruptions or better avoidance of inappropriate interruptions. We discuss the results and implications for practice in the light of other important considerations, such as privacy and technological simplicity.
Colour induction on computer displays -- adjacency and shape effects BIBAFull-Text 261-272
  L. Kjelldahl; B. N. Schenkman
The perceived interactions, induction and assimilation between colours presented on a computer screen were investigated for seven participants who gave estimates on the perceived colours. A method based on memory estimation was used. In one experiment, a red-green scale was used, while in a second experiment a white-green scale was used. The distance between objects, shape of objects and colour of objects was varied. A distance effect of colour interaction was found in both experiments, but stronger for the red-green scale. For objects adjacent to each other the interaction effects were statistically significant. For objects not adjacent to each other some smaller effects occurred. No shape effects were found. Assimilation effects were shown for the red-green colour combinations. The participants seemed to use their own internal memory scale for their judgements. A theoretical model for distance effects of colour interaction is also presented.

BIT 2007 Volume 26 Issue 4

Designing computer systems for and with older users BIBFull-Text 273-274
 
Supporting intergenerational groups in computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) BIBAFull-Text 275-285
  G. Convertino; U. Farooq; M. B. Rosson; J. M. Carroll; B. J. F. Meyer
The workforce is ageing as older workers re-enter the workforce or delay retirement. One consequence is that work groups are increasingly becoming intergenerational. Because group work relies on many collaborative tools (e.g. email, shared calendars), it is essential to understand the special requirements that intergenerational groups have for groupware. Can we design collaborative tools that leverage the differing abilities and contributions of older and younger workers in groups? We focus on how best to support intergenerational groups, offering an analytical framework that combines ideas from the theory of small groups and activity theory. We consider design implications for computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) and outline design principles for groupware that supports intergenerational groups. Finally, we discuss methodological issues that arise when studying intergenerational cooperative work.
How older people account for their experiences with interactive technology BIBAFull-Text 287-296
  P. Turner; S. Turner; G. Van De Walle
We present a qualitative study, undertaken over a period of nine months, of older people facing the challenges of learning to use interactive technology, specifically personal computers (PCs) and the internet. We examine the range of causal explanations (attributions) voiced by the group in accounting for their difficulties with it. A discourse analysis of these data reveals some factors (anxiety, age-related issues, being too busy to learn and the need for a purpose for the new tools) that support the work of other researchers, while other themes (issues around alienation, identity and agency) deepen understanding of this domain. The implications of the results for how we approach understanding the difficulties faced by older people in this context are discussed.
Embracing ambiguity in the design of non-stigmatizing digital technology for social interaction among senior citizens BIBAFull-Text 297-307
  T. Sokoler; M. S. Svensson
In this paper we report our early experience with the design of technology for senior citizens. We take as our point of departure a pre-study of the ways in which older adult living occurs at three different senior housing facilities in southern Sweden. We contribute to the current debate concerning the ways in which digital technology can be designed to enable new types of living arrangements for the ever growing population of older people. We focus on technology designed to support the social rather than physical challenges of growing older. In particular we discuss how designing for social interaction can circumvent the stigma associated with being lonely in light of diminishing social networks, changed patterns of interactions with family, moving to a new neighbourhood, and the loss of a spouse. We will suggest that designers, in the design of digital technology for social interaction, deliberately leave room for ambiguity to make it possible for people to leave their intentions of use unarticulated. Furthermore, recognizing that many everyday activities already act as enablers for social interaction, we suggest utilizing such activities as an approach for design. We will support our suggestions by introducing three perspectives: a perspective emphasizing that the population of older adults is one of resourceful individuals; a perspective on social interaction emphasizing its circumstantial nature as an inherent part of everyday activities; and a perspective on the role of digital technology emphasizing its role as merely one of many resources present for human action. Finally, we will present an example concept showing how an enhanced TV remote control may be designed to enable social interactions without inflicting too much on the original experience of watching TV and most importantly, without stigmatizing the people using the remote control as lonely individuals craving the company of others.
Now what was that password again? A more flexible way of identifying and authenticating our seniors BIBAFull-Text 309-322
  Karen Renaud; Judith Ramsay
The Web offers facilities which can make a huge difference to the lives of users with reduced mobility, something that affects many older users. Users have to be authorized to access restricted websites. This involves a two-step process: identification and authentication. These issues have received scant attention when considering the needs of specific user groups. Web identification and authentication is often treated as a one-size-fits-all problem with ubiquitous use of the password as an authenticator and a variety of different identification mechanisms being used. Neither is tailored to the needs of either the website or the target users. This paper discusses problems related to identification and authentication of older web users, and reports on experiences with field tests of initial solutions.
Forum Theatre as a requirements gathering methodology in the design of a home telecommunication system for older adults BIBAFull-Text 323-331
  M. Rice; A. Newell; M. Morgan
The ability to elicit requirements in the design of new technology has proved to be particularly problematic with older generations of users who have not grown up with the same level of familiarity and understanding of present day user interfaces as younger generations have. It is also widely acknowledged that older people are poorly represented in the development process of mainstream technology. In this paper, we critically examine how 'Forum Theatre' can be used as a requirements gathering methodology in the development of a novel digital television (DTV) based communication system. We demonstrate how live theatre established a 'common ground' between audience participants and actors in the facilitation of new ideas, and discuss how live theatre can be used to stimulate interest and understanding from designers and relevant professionals in the development of an unfamiliar and largely undefined technology for older adults.
Interface design and engagement with older people BIBAFull-Text 333-341
  D. Hawthorn
The current paper examines the design process that led to an unusually successful interactive tutorial for older people. The paper describes the issues that make designing for older people different. These include differences between the designer and the target population and the difficulty that older people have in interacting with low-fidelity prototypes. Ways of altering the design process to address these issues and to obtain useful design contributions from older participants are described.
Methods for human-computer interaction research with older people BIBAFull-Text 343-352
  A. Dickinson; J. Arnott; S. Prior
Experimental research in human-computer interaction commonly uses participant groups that are unrepresentative of demographic realities, being young, technically knowledgeable and highly educated. One way of reflecting society more accurately in research is to include older adults in research groups, but the elicitation of high-quality data from these participants requires alterations in research methods and organization. In the present paper, methodological and organizational experiences from a range of research studies with older participants are reported. It concludes with a list of guidelines for maximizing the research outcomes of working with older adults.

BIT 2007 Volume 26 Issue 5

New forms of organisation and communication BIBFull-Text 353-354
  Tom Stewart
The effects from technology-mediated interaction and openness in virtual team performance measures BIBAFull-Text 355-365
  M. Workman
As globalisation continues concurrent with mergers and acquisitions, transnational organisations are increasingly turning to the use of virtual teams in which members collaborate through technology-mediated interaction. Although collocated teams and virtual teams share many common characteristics including performance measures, the nature of the environments differ along several dimensions. In particular, members of virtual teams cooperate on global projects while resident in their home geographies and cultures and using various technologies to facilitate. From that context, this field study investigated virtual team performance using organisational culture as a framework.
Employees' attitudes towards Telecommuting. An empirical investigation in the Egyptian Governorate of Dakahlia BIBAFull-Text 367-375
  Ahmed Gad Abdel-Wahab
Thousands of companies today, in a wide variety of industries, are experiencing the benefits of allowing employees to work from their homes. Telecommuting has become a recognized and accepted work alternative for millions of Americans that has exponentially grown during the past 20 years. The main purpose of this paper is to explore the attitude of the Egyptian information workers towards the concept of telecommuting, and to examine the relationships between such an attitude and workers' expectation of their productivity and job satisfaction if participating in a telecommuting program. Original data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. A national sample of 228 Egyptian information workers in Dakahlia Governorate in Egypt completed the questionnaires with usable data. The results revealed that more respondents are in favor of telecommuting than those who are not in favor of the concept, and that the increase in the attitude score towards telecommuting tends to be paired with higher expectations about telecommuting productivity and satisfaction.
The role of presence awareness in organizational communication: An exploratory field experiment BIBAFull-Text 377-384
  Bret Shaw; Dietram A. Scheufele; Susan Catalano
Millions of adults currently use instant messaging (IM) in the workplace, and yet there is very little research examining how use and perceptions of this new medium affect intra-organizational communication. While one of the characteristics of instant messaging is the ability to exchange real-time communication, what truly distinguishes instant messaging from other widely adopted forms of mediated communication is the integration of presence technology, which allows parties to detect if others are online and available to communicate. In this paper, we propose a theory of productivity benefits of presence-aware communication technology, building upon past research. Based on this model, we use a quasi-experimental longitudinal research design to test how providing instant messaging to selected workgroups at a Fortune 500 company impacts employees' attitudes and work behavior.
   Results suggest that IM use had a positive effect on improving productivity with participants citing reductions in voice mail and phone tag, improvements to how easy it was to see if colleagues were online and available to communicate as well as increased productivity served by back-channel communications conducted via IM. Results and future research directions are discussed.
Unintended consequences of computer-mediated communications BIBAFull-Text 385-398
  Laurie McAulay
This paper explores the unintended consequences of computer-mediated communications by adopting a typology suggested by the sociologist Robert Merton. The typology is used to present a thematic analysis drawn from the literature on computer-mediated communications and two new studies. The first study considered the impact of computer-mediated technology on communicative behaviour in general, and involved 22 managers working in locations in the UK and USA. The second study focused on electronic mail and drew upon the responses of 70 managers. The paper suggests that Merton's analysis of unintended consequences provides a framework which expands our ability to explain issues associated with the implementation of computer-mediated communications and discusses intervention and laissez-faire as two implicit responses evident in the recent literature.
Application of TPB to punctuation usage in instant messaging BIBAFull-Text 399-407
  L. Zhou
Instant messaging (IM) is being widely used in the workplace and personal life at an accelerated rate. In this paper, we empirically investigate an extension of TPB (Theory of Planned Behaviour) model to explain why individuals use punctuation in IM. Conceptually, we examine attitude and behavioural belief and their impacts on punctuation usage. Our research model was tested in an empirical study, which confirmed all of our hypotheses. This paper also explains why people prefer to use punctuation in IM and how the usage is moderated by the communication context.
Voting with their seats: computer laboratory design and the casual user BIBAFull-Text 409-420
  Dirk H. R. Spennemann; John Atkinson; David Cornforth
Student computer laboratories are provided by most teaching institutions around the world; however, what is the most effective layout for such facilities? The log-in data files from computer laboratories at a regional university in Australia were analysed to determine whether there was a pattern in student seating. In particular, it was investigated whether students and academic staff usage was affected by the layout of a computer laboratory and therefore a preference by students in where they were seated. It was found that the layout of the computer laboratories does not affect which computer layout a student will use. Further, it was found that academic staff prefer to use a computer laboratory designed along a more traditional lecture room layout when working with first-year students. This research will be valuable to institutions designing new computer laboratory facilities.
Analyses of user rationality and system learnability: performing task variants in user tests BIBAFull-Text 421-436
  Effie Lai-Chong Law; Borka Jerman Blazic; Matic Pipan
No systematic empirical study on investigating the effects of performing task variants on user cognitive strategy and behaviour in usability tests and on learnability of the system being tested has been documented in the literature. The current use-inspired basic research work aims to identify the underlying cognitive mechanisms and the practical implications of this specific endeavour. The focus of our work was to assess user rationality and system learnability. The software application tested was a multilingual learning resource repository. Eleven German and eleven Slovenian participants were involved in two user tests (UTs). Usability problems (UPs) identified in two quasi-isomorphic tasks were categorized with respect to a scheme of associated skills. Actions of the two tasks of each of the 22 users were segmented and coded according to a scheme of cognitive activities. Results showed that generally the users adopted different strategies for working out the given task and its variant, and that the system could be proved learnable. User Rational Action Model and implications for future research on user tests are inferred.
Organizational software piracy: an empirical assessment BIBAFull-Text 437-444
  Alok Mishra; Ibrahim Akman; Ali Yazici
Application of Information Technology (IT) has had a significant impact on all aspects of business. Due to technology, the ease with which software can be pirated is increasing and is leading to increased concern for copyright protection. This paper reviews and discusses software piracy issues from a global perspective and reports the findings of a survey concerning the impact of sectors like government, private and academic in Turkey. Although software piracy has long been attracting the interest of academics, no quantitative research has ever been realized in this field in the country. Elsewhere also, most of the software piracy-related studies are from individuals' perspectives and are limited to students, academics, cost, and attitudes. Very few have reported findings related to IT professionals and organizations. The survey was conducted among IT managers of large-scale organizations from different sectors such as the government, private and academic community. Based on the survey of 162 IT managers, the results indicated that sectors have significant impact on software piracy to some extent.

BIT 2007 Volume 26 Issue 6

Editorial BIBFull-Text 445-446
  Tom Stewart
Investigating the problems faced by older adults and people with disabilities in online environments BIBAFull-Text 447-453
  K. Curran; N. Walters; D. Robinson
Irresponsible and inaccessible web design causes unnecessary problems to certain website users. By applying the web content accessibility guidelines to a website the amount of possible users who can successfully view the content of that site will increase especially for those who are in the disabled and older adult categories of online users. We present the results of assessing the compliance of a selection of websites with guidelines set out by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). It was found that most sites evaluated were inaccessible to those with disabilities. Only one of the selected sites passed all three priority levels set out by the WAI. In many cases, minor modifications to sites will make them accessible to people with disabilities. Therefore it can only be speculated that the reasons for lack of conformance may vary from lack of awareness of the issue, time constraints or the general stress of having to keep up with new technologies. Companies who overlook users with disabilities however may be doing so at long-term risk to their legal position, public image and ultimately business success.
A comparative study of mobile map displays in a geographic orientation task BIBAFull-Text 455-463
  Claudius Pfendler; Christopher Schlick
In an ergonomic experiment, different mobile map displays were compared in a simulated geographical orientation task. Subjects had to cross mazes while the corresponding maps were presented on a hand-held display, two helmet-mounted displays (a retinal scanning and a liquid crystal display) or on paper. The simulated mazes were projected on a backlit screen and the subjects could cross them using a joystick. The displays were compared with regard to subjects' speed when crossing the mazes, experienced task difficulty, visual fatigue and simulator sickness. The results show that speed was lowest with the paper map and experienced task difficulty was highest, whereas no significant differences were found between the electronic displays. Visual fatigue and simulator sickness were low and no significant differences were observed between all displays. The conclusion is drawn that all electronic map displays can be used for short time periods (15-30 minutes); however, long term effects have to be analysed in future experimental studies.
The impact of information technology on individual and firm marketing performance BIBAFull-Text 465-482
  Robert W. Stone; David J. Good; Lori Baker-Eveleth
The perceived impacts of information technology use on firm marketing organization performance are examined. A theoretical model is presented linking organizational and end-user traits, information quality, system/service quality, industry traits, and tasks performed using a system to perceptions of organizational performance impacts through ease of system use, perceived individual performance impacts (i.e. perceived usefulness), attitudes toward using the system, and system use. The empirical examination uses a mail survey of US marketing executives to collect the data. The quantitative technique used is structural equation modeling. The results indicate that measures of organizational traits, individual traits, information quality, system/service quality, and tasks performed using the system impact perceived performance of the marketing organization mediated individual performance impacts (i.e. perceived usefulness), attitudes toward using the system, and system use. Managerial implications and conclusions are presented based upon these results.
User acceptance of context-aware services: self-efficacy, user innovativeness and perceived sensitivity on contextual pressure BIBAFull-Text 483-498
  O. Kwon; K. Choi; M. Kim
The aim of this paper is to empirically examine how individual characteristics affect user acceptance of context-aware services such as GPS-based telematics systems and location-based commerce, which together have become highly promising fields for mobile or ubiquitous e-commerce. To examine these individual characteristics, we applied a technology acceptance model to construct an amended model that focuses on three individual differences: self-efficacy, personal innovativeness and perceived sensitivity on contextual pressure. As a result, we discovered that the perceived sensitivity on contextual pressure, which is newly adopted as a construct in this paper, affects behavioural intention in using context-aware services.
Contextualising design: Aspects of using usability context analysis and hierarchical task analysis for software design BIBAFull-Text 499-506
  S. Mills
Usability Context Analysis is part of ISO 9241-11 and, as such, is recommended for use in user-centred design. However, studies involving a critical assessment of usability context analysis within the software domain are scarce; this paper details two small studies that involved the use of usability context analysis (UCA) and hierarchical task analysis (HTA). The first system involved designing a small subsite of a larger website, while the second system was a small database designed as part of an exercise by UK university students. Post-design evaluation suggested that the use of both UCA and HTA, rather than one or the other, was beneficial in gathering and analysing user requirements.
Online stickiness: its antecedents and effect on purchasing intention BIBAFull-Text 507-516
  Judy Chuan-Chuan Lin
Website stickiness, the website's ability to retain online customers and prolong his/her duration of each stay, is one of the key factors to e-commerce success. However, how to make customers stick around is still unclear to online retailers. This paper examines the antecedents as well as effect of customer's intention to stick on a website. A model is developed and tested using a survey of 434 web users. The results confirm that the web user's willingness to stick to a website is a strong predictor of his/her intention to transact. Web managers thus need to put emphasis on the creation of the website stickiness. The results of this study also suggest that the formation of the stickiness is affected by web user attitude towards a website, trust in a website and the quality of website content. Implications of these findings are discussed for researchers and practitioners.
Hidden menu options in automated human-computer telephone dialogues: dissonance in the user's mental model BIBAFull-Text 517-534
  J. Wilke; F. McInnes; M. A. Jack; P. Littlewood
This paper explores the consequences of adopting an alternative strategy to that of explicitly listing all options within the main menu of a speech-driven automated telephone banking service. An existing service was augmented with an overdraft request dialogue, accessible at its main menu, which could be triggered using the keyword "overdraft". However, the keyword was not explicitly mentioned as an option in the main menu. Instead, system-initiated proposals for an overdraft were introduced into the call flow, notifying callers that they could apply for an overdraft by saying "overdraft" at the main menu. An experiment with 114 participants was carried out to investigate the effectiveness of this strategy as a way of offering new services without increasing the length of the main menu. Results showed that a significant proportion of participants (37%) did not succeed in completing an overdraft request. The reasons for this failure are discussed.
Collegial verbalisation -- a case study on a new method on information acquisition BIBAFull-Text 535-543
  M. Erlandsson; A. Jansson
The purpose of this paper is to propose and discuss a new method for information acquisition called collegial verbalisation. The method is explored in an empirical case study, and it consists of vehicle operators being videotaped while driving, followed by some of their colleagues making verbal reports while watching the video data. These colleagues have previously experienced exactly the same driving task as the operators, that is, they have travelled the same route, with the same craft, and used the same instrumentation. Thus, they are very familiar with the driving task and the driver environment. The empirical study is carried out on a high-speed ferry. The method is explored in relation to three rather open hypotheses: the amount of information provided in general; the reliability of the data; and how it contributes to the detection of 'buggy mental models' within the operators. The method is discussed in relation to the more traditional forms of verbal reports: concurrent and retrospective verbalisations, respectively. From the results of the empirical exploration, it is suggested that the method of collegial verbalisation may have combinatorial advantages that makes it more powerful as an analytical tool than the traditional forms of verbalisation, specifically if one wants to analyse work tasks that are dynamic and where the operators' behaviours are highly automated. However, more elaborate and systematic investigations must be conducted on the topic, and the paper therefore ends with a suggestion on an experimental design for this purpose.
DiTV and e-commerce among disadvantaged community groups BIBAFull-Text 545-560
  K. Keeling; L. A. Macaulay; P. McGoldrick
There is growing concern about the role of technological exclusion on deepening economic, political and social inequalities. Many people do not have PC-based Internet access either through geography, lack of money or other disadvantages. At the same time there is continued growth in the use of digital interactive television (DiTV) in the home, suggesting the potential for an alternative channel of Internet access. However, the case for DiTV is not proven, with some evidence of lack of awareness and interest among potential users. The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of DiTV as an alternative platform for conducting e-commerce among people who might otherwise be at risk of e-exclusion. The paper is positioned against literature on adoption of DiTV and briefly presents the results of a qualitative study examining consumer beliefs and feelings about shopping via DiTV. Eight key issues arising from the study are used as the focus for a questionnaire distributed among residents in an area of economic deprivation. The main outcomes are a deeper understanding of the pros and cons of DiTV for e-commerce and recommendations for developers wishing to promote e-inclusion.
A course model implemented in a teacher's learning community context: issues of course assessment BIBAFull-Text 561-578
  G. Hlapanis; A. Dimitrakopoulou
How could we design course programmes in a teachers' learning community context? Is it possible to conceive a concrete and appropriate course model? And if so, how could we assess the effectiveness of such a course model in such a complex learning situation? In this paper, a model implementation of technology-based courses is presented. The model was specified according to adult collaborative learning principles and was implemented in a learning community context. This model was put into practice during a distance learning educational programme, concerning further education of in-service primary and secondary education teachers. The programme was named School-Teacher's Learning Community and hosted many different web-based supported courses. Within this broad e-Learning Community students were educated, via the Internet, on aspects mainly concerning uses of information and communication technologies (ICT) in their teaching practices. The application of the previously specified course model was pursued, yet instructors responsible for each course were given substantial independence and the degree of harmonization with the course model was up to them. Some aspects of the case study, which was conducted within the context of this educational programme, are also presented. Emphasis was given to correlations that are derived from the analysis of data related to the research question concerning 'the extent of successful results that the application of the specified course model produced'. Course assessment issues were dealt with and evaluation of positive results was accomplished through the measurement of the degree of satisfaction of certain criteria that were considered decisive. Finally, conclusions, benefits and perspectives of issues presented in the paper are also presented.