Towards designing more effective systems by understanding user experiences.
University of Southampton, Electronics and Computer Science: Web & Internet Science,
This thesis is about social technologies, user experiences and the problems of creative design. It is motivated by a desire to give people who are offline the access to social technologies that is currently provided via the web. There exist technologically oriented approaches to solving this problem, but their focus on technology comes at a cost of neglecting the experiential aspects which motivate the work. This focus can result in systems which are functional but unappealing to (or even unusable by) their target audiences. After describing the motivation for the work, this thesis explains the state of the art and presents an exemplar system built with a technological focus. This thesis then presents Teasing Apart, Piecing Together (TAPT), a Software Engineering design process developed to address this gap in the field of software design. TAPT enables the understanding of user experiences and scaffolds the redesign of these for new contexts. After explaining the TAPT process and how it was built, a three-phase mixed methods evaluation is described. This consists of a large-scale comparative evaluation, an expert review of the outputs of that evaluation and case studies grounded in industrial and academic practice. The results of these evaluations show that TAPT, which can be used in an agile manner, provides a strong analytical framework for understanding experiences and supports the redesign of experiences in new contexts
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