Rapid Contextual Evaluation: an Exploration of the Application of Field Methods to Usability Evaluation

Monahan, Kelly (2011) Rapid Contextual Evaluation: an Exploration of the Application of Field Methods to Usability Evaluation. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.

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Abstract

The increasingly ubiquitous nature of software development has
presented new challenges to usability research, thereby introducing a
need for investigation of the use of field evaluation methods. This thesis
explores the application of field methods to usability evaluation, in order
to understand the challenges involved in applying such methods and the
contextual issues surrounding their implementation. More specifically, the
research aims to investigate the relationship between context and design
when using field evaluation studies. This work is especially important
because it represents a first step towards systemising HCI field
evaluation methodologies.
A case study approach was taken in order to provide real-world examples
of field method usage, and in addition two exploratory studies were
conducted in order to explore methodological challenges. This process
resulted in the development of a systematic field evaluation method
named Rapid Contextual Evaluation. In providing a rapid approach to
field evaluation, this thesis addresses the recent gaps in the literature
regarding the recent lack of publication of systematic evaluation methods
and the lack of detailed methodological case studies to inform practice.
The work reported here is the first to present such case studies, and the
first to describe in detail the application of a systematic field evaluation
method in a real world context.
The research identified the major challenges experienced in
implementing field evaluation studies, and proposed methodological
changes to address these. The relationship between context and design
was discovered to be iterative, and field evaluation approaches were
found to identify a broad range of contextual issues which went beyond
system interaction. In conclusion, the thesis identifies areas where future
research efforts should focus in order to deliver the most valuable
improvements to field evaluation methods.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Computing > Human-Computer Interaction
Divisions: Collections > Theses
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Barry Hall
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2014 15:45
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 12:48
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/4689

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