The power of periods of learning and the knowledge of training professionals are underestimated and unexplored. The challenges posed in this dissertation to usability and hci deal with the transformation from usability to use quality, and learning as a means to promote use quality.
The design of interactive artefacts today is mostly based on the assumption that the best design is achieved by formatively fitting properties of the artifact in an iterative process to specified users, with specified tasks in a specified context. As a contrast to that one current trend is to put a lot more emphasis on designing the actual use of the artefact. The assumption is that the best design is achieved through a design process where the artifact is given form in accordance to how it is put to use.
We want to provide stakeholders of systems development with an increased sensitivity to what use quality is and how they might participate in focusing on use quality. Thus, we have asked ourselves what specific use qualities, and models thereof that we find and formulate when studying a set of systems in use at a bank, for the purpose of supporting learning environment designers.
This thesis reports on the development of a theory of use quality based on theoretical investigations and empirical research of use qualities of interactive artifacts. Empirical studies were performed in close collaboration and intervention with learning environment developers in two development projects, focusing on use qualities and qualities of learning to use the artifact. The four studies comprised; 1] (learning to) use a word processor, 2] using experiences from that to formulate models of use quality as a design base for a learning environment for a teller system, 3] (learning to) use the teller system, and finally 4] assessment and modelling of the use of the teller system.
The specific results are a set of models of use quality, encompassing a number of empirically derived use qualities. The most central of the latter are; surprise and confusion, the thin, but bendable, border between ready-to-hand and present-at-hand, an elasticity of breakdown; ante-use, that which precedes use; dynamicity and activity, the timebased qualities without which the interactive material can not be understood or designed. The general results are presented as a theory of use quality, represented through a set of models of use quality. These models are aimed at design for use, rather than focusing on, in a monocultural faschion, an artifact's properties, its usability, its presence or the user experience.
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2002. , 214 p.
2002-09-10, Visionen, Hus B, Linköpings Universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (Swedish)