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A design space analysis of live help systems
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a design space analysis of live help systems. Several important design components are identified. Alternative design options are considered and assessed theoretically against suitable criteria. The assessments are mainly based on a survey of a large number of research papers. We illustrate how the design space analysis can be of value in the design of live help systems in four different kinds of application domains (i.e. electronic banks, digital libraries, web shops, and home health care systems). We describe a design exercise where we compared a design resulting from the design space analysis with the real design of an example system. The comparison showed that the design space analysis leads to reasonable designs, but that special characteristics of the application at hand may require adaptations of the design space analysis. A description of the implementation of the example system is provided. The theoretical design space analysis is then complemented by a summary of the lessons learned from deployment of the example system. We also point out future directions for further extending the scope of this design space analysis. The paper is intended for practitioners and researchers doing work on online help for Web information systems.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-86687OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-86687DiVA: diva2:580348
Note

This manuscript will not be published.

Available from: 2012-12-21 Created: 2012-12-21 Last updated: 2017-01-17
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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