• From "can they" to "will they?": Extending usability evaluation to address acceptance

      Dillon, Andrew; Morris, Michael G.; Hoadley, Ellen D.; Benbasat, Izak (Atlanta, Georgia: AIS, 1998)
      This item is not the definitive copy. Please use the following citation when referencing this material: Dillon, A. and Morris, M. (1998) From "can they?" to "will they?": extending usability evaluation to address acceptance. AIS Conference Paper, Baltimore, August 1998. Introduction: usability engineering: Within the human-computer interaction (HCI) community, there exists a long and rich research paradigm on "usability engineering (UE)." Within the usability engineering tradition, usability is operationally defined as the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which specified users can perform particular tasks in a given environment (see e.g., Shackel 1991, Nielsen, 1993). Effectiveness answers: can users perform their tasks? Efficiency means: what resources do users expend to achieve a given outcome (e.g., time, effort)? Finally, satisfaction measures assess how well users like the application. From this perspective, usability is contextually defined in operational terms that designers can see as targets to meet, for example: "Users should be able to perform specified tasks with new tool after W minutes training, with X% effectiveness, at least Y% efficiency, and Z% greater satisfaction than with old interface" where W < infinity, and 0< [X, Y, Z] <100. The strengths of the usability engineering approach include: 1. The use of operationalised measures that are negotiated in context, 2. The direct coupling of usability to tasks the tool must support, 3. The capability of negotiated targets to fit into an iterative design process, and 4. The decoupling of the usability construct from interface features Each of these strengths gives the approach value to the software industry where design practices require targets to be met and where the success of a new tool is determined contextually rather than in any absolute manner. Thus, the usability engineering paradigm has enjoyed a wide range of support from industry. Nonetheless, there are associated weaknesses of this approach. Some of these weaknesses include: 1. Usability criteria are dynamic, not fixed, 2. Usability is thus contextually determined so what works in one context may not work in another and design practices must continually ground themselves in work practices 3. Determining usability criteria requires considerable analytic skill, 4. Generalization beyond context is difficult, 5. Criteria do not determine re-design advice While the approach advocated by usability engineers of deriving appropriate targets for design and testing to meet is useful, it is clear that usability does not fully determine actual system use (see Dillon and Morris 1996). Thus, it is possible that designers may produce a well engineered artifact that meets set criteria, but still fails to gain the acceptance of discretionary users. In other words, usability is a necessary but insufficient determinant of use.
    • The Importance of Usability in the Establishment of Organizational Software Standards for End User Computing

      Morris, Michael G.; Dillon, Andrew (Elsevier, 1996)
      This item is not the definitive copy. Please use the following citation when referencing this material: Morris, M. and Dillon, A. (1996) The role of usability in the organizational standards setting process. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 45(2), 243-258. ABSTRACT: The rapid introduction of microcomputers into organizations throughout the last decade gave new importance to the analysis of how technology impacts organizations. In particular, research on usability has sought to become central to the design and selection of technology for large organizations. However, definitions and methods are not yet standardized. Data gathered from semi-structured interviews of three MIS managers and 125 end-users in three organizations suggest that differences in emphasis on, and definition of usability can exist between these two groups. Usability was not a central concern to managers when evaluating end-user software packages considered for adoption as the organizational standard, though it appeared to be so for end-users. Moreover, managers tended to consider and evaluate usability based only on features contained in the user interface, whereas end-users often cited contextual factors such as task and environmental considerations. Implications for technology assessment and future research into organizational impact of I.T. are presented.
    • The Influence of User Perceptions on Software Utilization: Application and Evaluation of a Theoretical Model of Technology Acceptance

      Morris, Michael G.; Dillon, Andrew (IEEE, Inc., 1997)
      This paper presents and empirically evaluates a Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) which can serve as a simple to use, and cost-effective tool for evaluating applications and reliably predicting whether they will be accepted by users. After presenting TAM, the paper reports on a study designed to evaluate its effectiveness at predicting system use. In the study the researchers presented 76 novice users with an overview and hands-on demonstration of Netscape. Following this demonstration, data on user perceptions and attitudes about Netscape were gathered based on this initial exposure to the system. Follow up data was then gathered two weeks later to evaluate actual use of Netscape following the demonstration. Results suggest that TAM is an effective and cost effective tool for predicting end user acceptance of systems. Suggestions for future research and conclusions for both researchers and practitioners are offered.
    • User acceptance of new information technology: theories and models

      Dillon, Andrew; Morris, Michael G.; Williams, Martha E. (Medford, N.J.: Information Today, 1996)
      This item is not the definitive copy. Please use the following citation when referencing this material: Dillon, A. and Morris, M. (1996) User acceptance of new information technology - theories and models. In: M. Williams (ed.) Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, Vol. 31, Medford NJ: Information Today, 3-32. ABSTRACT: Understanding the factors that influence user acceptance of information technology is of interest both to researchers in a variety of fields as well as procurers of technology for large organizations. The present chapter reviews literature which demonstrates the nature of technological acceptance is mediated by distinct factor groups related to the psychology of the users, the design process of information technology, and the quality of the technology in user terms. It is concluded that current research offers insights that can support the derivation of reliable predictions of user acceptance. However, potentially overlapping theories seem to exist independently of each other and there exists scope for a unifying framework to extend innovation diffusion concepts and systems design models (particularly user-centered design) into a formal theory of user acceptance of information technology.