Human-Computer Interaction 3e Dix, Finlay, Abowd, Beale

exercises  -  13. socio-organizational issues and stakeholder requirements

EXERCISE 13.1

A group of universities has decided to collaborate to produce an information system to help potential students find appropriate courses. The system will be distributed free to schools and careers offices on CD-ROM and will provide information about course contents and requirements, university and local facilities, fees and admissions procedures. Identify the main stakeholders for this system, categorize them and describe them and their activities, currently and with regard to the proposed system, using the CUSTOM framework.

answer

Example description for Careers Officer: (using CUSTOM, reduced form, p 461 of Human-Computer Interaction)

Current system

  1. Stakeholder has to provide information to potential students on available courses. Success is measured by student understanding and satisfaction and by the numbers of students matched to appropriate courses.
  2. Stakeholder is satisfied by finding a suitable course to meet a student's needs and finds it stressful when information is not available or accessible to meet this need.
  3. Stakeholder understands the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) system and knows how to find course details from manuals. Stakeholder has basic IT skills using a PC.
  4. Stakeholder enjoys work and feels valued by the organisation. Stakeholder is comfortable with technology.
  5. Stakeholder works alone. The only workgroups that are relevant are with class teachers who are consulted intermittently about individual students.
  6. Tasks include (1) interviewing students, (2) researching courses and opportunities, (3) writing summary information sheets, (4) liaising with universities and teachers. Some tasks (e.g. 2 & 3) are discretionary and can be done when the stakeholder has time. Others are fixed (1) or event driven (4). Some tasks may be fragmented by interruptions of enquirers 'dropping in'.
  7. Stakeholder is bound by confidentiality of individual student details and considers the responsibility of advising students on their futures a significant one.
  8. Stakeholder is working in a heated office environment in a school.

Proposed system

  1. As before. Stakeholder has to provide information to potential students on available courses Success is measured by student understanding and satisfaction and by the numbers of students matched to appropriate courses.
  2. Stakeholder is satisfied by finding a suitable course to meet a student's needs and multimedia system helps to facilitate this. Stakeholder must be assured that the information on the system is accurate and current.
  3. Stakeholder understands the UCAS system and knows how to find course details from manuals. Stakeholder has basic IT skills using a PC. Stakeholder must understand how to navigate the multimedia system.
  4. Stakeholder is comfortable with technology. However stakeholder may feel less valued as multimedia system allows students to access information directly.
  5. As before. Stakeholder works alone. The only workgroups that are relevant are with class teachers who are consulted intermittently about individual students.
  6. Tasks include (1) interviewing students, (2) researching courses and opportunities, (3) writing summary information sheets, (4) liaising with universities and teachers. Some tasks (e.g. 2 & 3) are discretionary and can be done when the stakeholder has time. Others are fixed (1) or event driven (4). Some tasks may be fragmented by interruptions of enquirers "dropping in". Task 2. is now facilitated by multimedia system.
  7. As before. Stakeholder is bound by confidentiality of individual student details and considers the responsibility of advising students on their futures a significant one.
  8. As before. Stakeholder is working in a heated office environment in a school.

 

EXERCISE 13.2

For the scenario proposed above:

answer

Rich picture:

Open ended - any notation/drawing is acceptable. It should include all of the actors identified in the answer to 13.1, and the relationships between them, as well as external and internal factors, motivations, and so on. For example, the university is interested in attracting students. It has a number of motivations and issues: raising funds, meeting need for learning provision, demand for resource provision. Students are interested in available locations, quality of learning provision, value for money, closeness to family, and so on. A rich picture can use any notation but should represent the entire system spatially.

Root definition/CATWOE:

A system owned by university management, to be operated by careers staff and students working in careers offices and schools within the context of UCAS regulations and competition from other universities, to sell courses to students, generate income for the university and meet a need for learning provision.

CStudent.
ACareers staff/student.
TStudent intention to go to university transformed into place offered and income for institution. Need for learning provision transformed into need met.
WIncreased student numbers will increase income and effectiveness.
OUniversity management.
EUCAS and university regulations; competitive environment from other institutions.

Transformations - examples:

 

EXERCISE 13.3

The example in Section 13.3.2 (soft systems methodology) provides a root definition for an airline booking system from the perspective of the airline owner. How would this change if it was presented from the perspective of the customer?

answer available for tutors only

The key difference would be in the Weltanschauung or world view which would be seen from the perspective of the customer. Instead of being to optimise profit by efficient sales, the customer would be seeking to get an efficient service and value for money.

 

EXERCISE 13.4

Find case studies of participatory design in action and use these to provide a critique of the approach. What are the benefits and weaknesses of participatory design and how might any weaknesses be addressed?

answer available for tutors only

The main purpose of this question is to encourage reading around the subject of participatory design. A good starting point is the PD reader: http://www.cpsr.org/program/workplace/PD-readings.html, which includes details of a number of classic examples such as the UTOPIA project. The benefits and weaknesses will in part depend on the examples chosen. Participatory design empowers users as decision makers in the design process so increasing their commitment to the resulting system. The design process becomes a learning experience for both users and developers. However it is time consuming and necessarily context dependent. It also has implications for the balance of power and decision making in an organisation - the approach is politically motivated in origin and may require changes to the organisational culture. These apparent weaknesses may be seen as positive points but certainly require change management to ensure a smooth transition.

 

EXERCISE 13.5

You are designing a new system to help people manage their "to do" lists. Use the contextual inquiry approach to interview a colleague to see how they make use of such lists. Make sure you interview them in context - in their study or workplace for example. Produce sequence, flow, artefact, cultural and physical models of the activity.

answer available for tutors only

This is an exercise suitable for project work. The student should be encouraged to do further research into contextual inquiry and to carry out a full investigation based around one or two colleagues.

 

EXERCISE 13.6 [extra - not in book]

Choose two of the following systems.

(i) An electronic point of sale system for a large supermarket chain.
(ii) A system for providing information about train services to waiting passengers
(iii) A groupware system to support students on a distance learning degree course.
(iv) An electronic banking system running on the world wide web.

With respect to the chosen systems:

1. Identify the key stakeholders for each system and outline how you would gather information on user requirements.
2. For each system, identify three representative tasks that have to be supported. What sources of information would you use to determine task requirements?
3. What input/output technology and interface styles would be appropriate for each system?

answer available for tutors only

1.
(i)
P(rimary): check out staff
S(econdary): customers, management, stock control staff
T(ertiary): competitors, customers' families, other staff in company
F(acilitating): IT staff, Board of Directors (financially)

(ii)
P: passengers
S: station staff, station management
T: timetable printers, families of passengers
F: IT staff, Board

(iii)
P: students on course, lecturer
S: lecturer(s)
T: university, other students, other universities
F: developers, research council (if funded)

(iv)
P: bank customers
S: bank staff, management
T: competitors, customers' families
F: developers

Information on user requirements would be gathered using a methodology such as CUSTOM, where key stakeholders are interviewed about their role in the organisation, their work groups, their attitudes. They are asked about these in the current context and in the light of the proposed development - the differences suggest user requirements.

2.
(i) register item, total bill, remove item from registered
(ii) find train time, find route information, find ticket price
(iii) send message to lecture, communicate with whole group, read other students' contributions
(iv) check account balance, transfer money, deposit money

Information on task requirements would be gathered by
(a) analysing documentation outlining current procedures (appropriate for (i) and (iv)
(b) observing current execution of task (all)
(c) interviewing/questionnaires to users (all)
(d) examining existing similar systems (all).

3.
(i) bar code scanner, LED display, key pad for typing, interface - direct scanning, following instructions where necessary on display
(ii) touch screen, hidden printer, interface - button based or touch sensitive map.
(iii) standard workstation with modem connection. Interface - WIMP/ menu based.
(iv) standard workstation with modem/internet provider. Interface - icon/button selection, menu choice. Needs security protection.

NB Solutions may vary from those suggested and still be correct - the answer depends on the systems chosen.

 

EXERCISE 13.7 [extra - not in book]

(Cross refer to ch 12) Soft systems methodology and cognitive psychology offer different perspectives on HCI. For each of these

(a) Summarise the view of HCI taken, and the contribution to HCI made, by the perspective.
(b) What view of users and tasks is taken by the perspective?
(c) What tools and methods does the perspectives provide to assist interface designers?
(d) How do these different perspectives relate to each other?

answer available for tutors only

Soft Systems Methodology

(a) System incorporates the technology, the people, the procedures etc so design must analyse the whole context. Contribution: contextualised analysis of impact of technology.
(b) User is part of larger system. Other stakeholders are also important. Tasks are transformations.
(c) Rich picture can help to clarify context of interactive system. SSM worked through identifies the necessary transformations and the effects on the whole systemof the new technology. Answer would discuss stages of SSM.

Cognitive Psychology

(a) Can use cognitive models of users to predict how they will perform with an interface. Contribution: predictive models of interactive behaviour.
(b) User is generic and (usually) assumed error-free. Model is of cognitive processes. Takes little account of context. Tasks are low level - often unit tasks.
(c) Techniques - range of models available - including GOMS, TAG, CCT. Expect some explanation of one or more of these and an example.
Both
(d) The answer should consider differences and similarities in views of user, task, importance of context and methods.

 

EXERCISE 13.8 [extra - not in book]

What is participatory design? What are its advantages/disadvantages? Describe the methods that are used in the process of participatory design.

answer available for tutors only

What it is

Advantages:

Disadvantages:

Methods

brainstorming
All participants in the design pool ideas; informal, relatively unstructured, but may involve 'on-the-fly' structuring of ideas. All information is recorded without judgement; ideas thus generated can later be filtered

storyboarding
Graphical representationof non-functional system. Can be used to describe the user's day-to-day activities as well as potential designs and their impact.

workshops
Can be used to fill in missing knowledge of both participants and provide focused view of design. May involve mutual enquiry in which both designers and users attempt to understand the context of the design from each other's point of view. May use role play.

pencil and paper exercises
Simple and cheap technique for early assessment of models. Users can 'walk through' typical tasks using paper mock-ups, to show up discrepancies between the users' requirements and the proposed system design

 

EXERCISE 13.9 [extra - not in book]

In your view, is it possible to consider interactive systems design outside the context of use? Explain your answer.

answer available for tutors only

To answer this question you need to consider the problems and benefits of taking account of context. The problems include the complexity of information and the fact that all situations different. There is also the issue of how a system can be evaluated without changing the context. For example, each instantiation of a task will be different due to different contexts. However, context is important as it determines how a system is used. A system may not be acceptable if its context is not taken into account in design. If context is ignored analysis tends to focus on generic low level problems. Would expect discussion to conclude that possibly lower level analysis can ignore it but other than that context is essential (though an alternative view - well argued - is equally acceptable).

 

EXERCISE 13.10 [extra - not in book]

For each of the following systems, identify example stakeholders from each category (primary, secondary, tertiary and facilitating)

1. An information system to support an estate agency
2. A virtual lecture theatre
3. A world wide web search engine
4. An information kiosk at Crufts to help people choose an appropriate breed of dog for their lifestyle
5. A video conferencing system to support admissions interviews for a virtual university.
6. A library information system
7. A web based book shop
8. A cooperative editing tool to support co-authors
9. A custard dispenser on a cake production line

answer available for tutors only

1. An information system to support an estate agency
Primary: agency staff
Secondary: purchasers, sellers
Tertiary: seller's families, mortgage lenders
Facilitating: IT staff

2. A virtual lecture theatre
Primary: students on course, lecturer
Secondary: lecturer(s)
Tertiary: University, other students, other universities
Facilitating: developers, research council (if funded)

3. A world wide web search engine
Primary: web users
Secondary: web site owners
Tertiary: organisations represented, advertisers, competitors
Facilitating: ISPs

4. An information kiosk at Crufts to help people choose an appropriate breed of dog for their lifestyle.
Primary: public
Secondary: kennel club, breed clubs
Tertiary: breeders, rescue societies, trainers
Facilitating: developers

5. A video conferencing system to support admissions interviews for a virtual university.
Primary: students, tutors
Secondary: Registry
Tertiary: student's families, university
Facilitating: IT staff

6. A library information system
Primary: library staff OR borrowers depending on interpretation
Secondary: library staff OR borrowers depending on interpretation, management, buyers
Tertiary: customers'; families, other libraries, bookshops
Facilitating: IT staff, Board of Directors(financially)

7. A web based book shop
Primary: book purchaser
Secondary: sales staff, stock dispatchers
Tertiary: competitors
Facilitating: IT staff

8. A cooperative editing tool to support co-authors.
Primary: authors
Secondary: publishers, proof readers
Tertiary: readers
Facilitating: Product developer

9. A custard dispenser on a cake production line.
Primary: factory worker
Secondary: floor manager
Tertiary: competitors, customers
Facilitating: IT staff

 

EXERCISE 13.11 [extra - not in book]

This question relates to the train both scenario.

Consider the train booth example.  

Who are the stakeholders of this system?

answer available for tutors only

Primary – railway travellers owning a Golden Card

Secondary – railway companies selling the tickets through the system

Tertiary – railway staff, railway competitors, railway shareholders

Facilitating – design team, IT department staff


Individual exercises

ex.13.1 (ans), ex.13.2 (ans), ex.13.3 (tut), ex.13.4 (tut), ex.13.5 (tut), ex.13.6 (tut), ex.13.7 (tut), ex.13.8 (tut), ex.13.9 (tut), ex.13.10 (tut), ex.13.11 (tut)

Worked exercises in book

  
  • a worked exercise
  
  • a worked exercise
  
  • a worked exercise
  
  • a worked exercise

home | about | chapters | resources | exercises | online | editions | interactive | community | search | plus +++
exercises: 1. human | 2. computer | 3. interaction | 4. paradigms | 5. design basics | 6. software process | 7. design rules | 8. implementation | 9. evaluation | 10. universal design | 11. user support | 12. cognitive models | 13. socio-organizational | 14. comm and collab | 15. task models | 16. dialogue | 17. system models | 18. rich interaction | 19. groupware | 20. ubicomp, VR, vis | 21. hypertext and WWW