Critical Success Factors for Establishing Online User Participation in System Design: An Evaluation in Healthcare

Critical Success Factors for Establishing Online User Participation in System Design: An Evaluation in Healthcare

Julia Klammer (University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Olten, Switzerland), Fred W.G. van den Anker (University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Olten, Switzerland) and Monique Janneck (Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Luebeck University of Applied Sciences, Luebeck, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSODIT.2015010102
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Recent web-based technologies such as social media offer new ways for involving users in system design. However, little is known about the concrete benefits and limitations of online user participation and how to organize such processes in a corporate context. This research reports on an approach that integrated an online-platform with face-to-face activities to design an ICT-based health care service together with health care staff. A qualitative, formative evaluation of the approach over two years revealed critical success factors for applying online participation within a participatory design process. The authors show how task-related, media-related and organizational characteristics, transaction costs of participating and the need for a shared context work as preconditions and drivers for online participation. The evaluation also revealed that the online platform and scenario workshops complement each other well by integrating online user-generated content with detailed context information derived from face-to-face interaction.
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A key principle of PD is giving voice to users (Bødker, Kensing & Simonsen, 2004), which has motivated the development of a broad collection of tools and techniques to meet this demand. Self-reporting techniques, diaries and (cultural) probes are classic techniques to enable even remote participation of end-users and have a long tradition in social sciences, ethnographic studies and PD as well (for an overview, see Muller & Druin, 2012). Recent developments in web-based technologies and mobile computing offer new opportunities for remote content-creation, such as taking pictures from daily situations and uploading and sharing them with a specific group of people directly from mobile phones. Common to all self-reporting techniques is that users are provided with tools, media and materials to document observations from their daily life, be they analogue (single-use camera), digital (photo camera, mobile phone) or web-based (to upload or create content). Typical user participation activities involve taking pictures, making short video-clips, recording audio-messages or writing short texts, mostly with mobile phones and photo/video-cameras (Carter & Mankoff, 2005; Go, 2007; Hagen, Robertson & Gravina, 2007; Isomursu, Kuutti & Väinämö, 2004; Katzeff & Ware, 2006; Landry, 2008; Lin & Okamoto, 2009; Muller & Druin, 2012).

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