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What is User Research

Handbook of Research on Culturally-Aware Information Technology: Perspectives and Models
An early phase of user-centered design during which potential users are studied in order to understand usage context and users’ needs relating to the designed product.
Published in Chapter:
Technology Cultures
Petri Mannonen (Helsinki University of Technology, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-883-8.ch005
The world in which we live is filled with technologies and user interfaces. The complex and continually changing technical environment has set the scene for situations where people have different interpretations for and relationships with different technologies. The communication and information-sharing possibilities enabled by modern information and communication technologies (ICT) have made it possible to share experiences and interpretations about new technologies. As a result, the understanding and know-how of technologies do not seem to follow national or other traditional cultural boundaries. Instead, new groupings and boundaries have emerged relating to technological understanding. These technology cultures are an important factor when usability, acceptance and even utility of new technologies are considered. Thus, there is a need to develop better understanding of technology cultures and take them into account during information system design and development. The chapter aims to develop and define the technology cultures concept and provide guidance on utilizing it during new product and service development.
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