Researching Usability

Posts Tagged ‘Girl Geeks

Information System Success Model

The next theoretical model that I look at this week is the Information System Success Model which was first developed by William H. DeLone and Ephraim R. McLean in 1992. As it says in the title, the framework was designed to create a comprehensive way of measuring the success of an information system. The premise is that “systems quality” measures technical success; “information quality” measures semantic success; and “use, user satisfaction, individual impacts” and “organisations impacts” measure effectiveness success. This was later streamlined into a revised version in 2003 which highlights the three main components of an information service: “information” (content), “system”, and “service” (see diagrams below). Each of these factors have an impact on the user; their intention to use (discussed in the TAM framework as ‘acceptance of a system’) and their actual usage of a system. These factors in turn influence user satisfaction and this provides an indication of the ultimate impact of the system on the user/group of users/organisation/industry.  The net benefits can be scaled so the researcher can decide the context in which the net benefits are to be measured, keeping it useful in any situation.

There are a number of similarities between the Success Model and other models examined in this blog, including ITF and TAM. In addition to the parallels with the Success Model’s ‘Intention to use’ and ‘Use’ with TAM’s acceptance model, there are also overlaps in the Interactive Triptych Framework. Examining the system and content individually as a means of understanding the impact on the user’s behaviour (intentions and usage) is mimicked in the Usability and Usefulness of the system and content to the user in ITF. In the same vein, the usefulness and usability is also paramount when evaluating user acceptance in the Technology Acceptance Model. In this respect all three frameworks are similar. Where the Revised Success Model differs is in its application of these measurements. Where TAM evaluates if a system will be accepted by users, the Success Model can generate a list of measurable benefits which can be used to gauge the system success. This provides the opportunity to evaluate the success of a system over time, as users become more familiar with a system over time.

DeLone and McLean believe that the rapidly changing environment of information systems does not require an entirely new set of measures. They recommend that identifying success measures which already exist and have been validated through previous application can be enhanced and modified where necessary. New, untested measures should be adopted as a last resort. ITF and TAM have demonstrated similarities in their approach to rule them out as new. While TAM has received extensive testing in previous research, ITF is still relatively young. Adopting the ITF model for the UX2.0 project will hopefully further the research in this area.

Girl Geek Dinners: Edinburgh

This week I attended the 3rd Girl Geek Dinner in Edinburgh, hosted by The Informatics Forum at Edinburgh University. Girl Geeks is for women (and men!) interested in technology, creativity and computing. The speakers Emma McGrattan and Lesley Eccles provided entertaining, candid and very interesting talks on their own experiences working in technological sectors. I attended the first dinner in Edinburgh last year and noticed how successful it has become thanks to the wonderful work done by the organisers. The events attract a real mixture of professionals and students with a variety of interests. The passion in technology that everyone brings to the event always leaves me with real optimism and inspiration for the future. Long may these types of events continue.

Free Digital UX Books

For those who missed it or don’t follow me on Twitter, I came across a useful list of free user experience Ebooks compiled by Simon Whatley (link provided via @BogieZero). I personally recommend reading Search User Interfaces by Marti A. Hearst. If you know of any other free Ebooks please feel free to leave a link here or on Simon’s blog.


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