Human-computer interaction: lessons from theory and practice.
University of Southampton, School of Management,
This thesis explores the gap between theory and practice within the context of humancomputer interaction (HCI), specifically relating to effective implementation of HCI methods and frameworks within practice. The thesis is structured as follows: three connected but stand-alone papers are presented preceded by an introduction, and followed by a conclusion. The introduction defines HCI, discusses its history and evolution, and how it has been influenced by different disciplines. The first paper covers the usability of personalisation of Web sites and consists of three quantitative studies. The main measurements are effciency, effectiveness, and satisfaction as indicators of usability. Two of the studies show a significant relationship between the amount of content on a page and time taken to find information. The third study shows that when users are only allowed 3-5 seconds to glance through the page (skim), the significance, found in the other two studies, disappeared. There is, however, no indication that subjective satisfaction is affected, regardless of the amount of time users take to find information in any of the studies. The second paper is a case study: a practical evaluation of how usability is implemented in commercial website design projects. It compares the difference between targeting usability issues early in the design and later in the development. The third paper conceptualises involving users early on in design projects, how this affects design projects in the context of Garrett's (2002) framework and how it compares with current and optimal approaches. It shows that involving users early in the design process does not negatively affect time or effort and concludes by defining areas where research should concentrate to provide further evidence towards involving stakeholders in Web design through researchable propositions. Finally, the conclusion chapter summarises each of the paper's limitations and conclusions. It links the three papers through a discussion on how they are related in addition to how this research could benefit the practitioner
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