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An empirical study of human Web assistants: implications for user support in Web information systems
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, IISLAB - Laboratory for Intelligent Information Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, IISLAB - Laboratory for Intelligent Information Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2001 (English)In: Proceedings of the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, New York, USA: ACM Press , 2001, 1, 404-411 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

User support is an important element in reaching the goal of universal usability for Web information systems. Recent developments indicate that human involvement in user support is a step towards this goal. However, most such efforts are currently being pursued on a purely intuitive basis. This, empirical findings about the role of human assistants are important. In this paper we present the findings from a field study of a general user support model for Web information systems. We show that integrating human assistance into Web systems is a way to provide efficient user support. Further, this integration makes a Web site more fun to use and increases the user's trust in the site. The support also improves the site atmosphere. Our findings are summarised as recommendations and design guidelines for decision-makers and developers Web systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, USA: ACM Press , 2001, 1. 404-411 p.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-54752DOI: 10.1145/365024.365305ISBN: 1-58113-327-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-54752DiVA: diva2:309734
Conference
CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, March 31-April 5, Seattle, Washington, USA
Available from: 2010-04-08 Created: 2010-04-08 Last updated: 2015-04-22
In thesis
1. Live help systems: an approach to intelligent help for Web information systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Live help systems: an approach to intelligent help for Web information systems
2002 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Since the creation of the World-Wide Web we have seen a great growth in the complexity of Web sites. There has also been a large expansion in number of Web sites and in amount of usage. As a consequence, more and more Web site users are having problems accomplishing their tasks, and it is increasingly important to provide them with support.

Our research approach to online help for Web site users is the introduction and study of what we call live help systems. A live help system is an intelligent help system which integrates human experts in the process of advice giving by allowing users to communicate with dedicated expert assistants through the help system. Traditional fully automatic intelligent help systems have several common problems. For example, there are problems with large system complexity, knowledge engineering bottlenecks, and credibility. We hypothesise that live help systems, offer a solution to these problems.

Our aim with this thesis is to explore the design, technical feasibility, and usability of live help systems, in order to provide a foundation on which future research and practise can build. We have systematically explored the design space of live help systems. We have implemented and successfully deployed a live help system at an existing Web site, thereby demonstrating technical feasibility. During the deployment period, data was collected from the users and the human experts. Our analysis shows that live help systems are greatly appreciated by Web users, and that they are indeed effective in helping users accomplish their tasks. We also provide empirical results regarding the effectiveness of employing automatic help functions as a filter for the human experts. Further, the concept of user modelling as an aid for human experts has been explored as part of the field study. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2002. 33 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 745
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-35595 (URN)27885 (Local ID)91-7373-311-3 (ISBN)27885 (Archive number)27885 (OAI)
Public defence
2002-05-07, Visionen, Hus B, Linköpings Universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2012-12-21

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Åberg, JohanShahmehri, Nahid

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