PYXIDA Institutional Repository
and Digital Library
Collections :

Title :User experience with portable IT artefacts: affective attributes of tablets and their role in sensemaking
Alternative Title :Εμπειρία χρήστη με φορητά υπολογιστικά τεχνουργήματα: συναισθηματικές ιδιότητες των ταμπλετών και ο ρόλος τους στην αποδόμηση του νοήματος
Creator :Zamani, Efpraxia D.
Contributor :Giaglis, G. M. (Επιβλέπων καθηγητής)
Athens University of Economics and Business, Department of Management Science and Technology (Degree granting institution)
Type :Text
Extent :177p.
Language :en
Abstract :Traditionally, IT artefacts have been examined as instruments for the successful and accurate completion of work-related tasks. As such, extant literature has focused primarily on utilitarianrelated factors. Yet, over the recent years, technology has moved beyond the work environment and penetrated that of the user’s personal everyday life. At the same time, technological advances have made possible the launch of numerous IT artefacts, vying for the consumer’s attention. As a result, designers are required to offer distinct experiences and fascinate users, in order to be successful against the competition. Specifically, it has been argued that, users may adopt and remain engaged with an IT artefact simply because they find the interaction and the artefact itself irresistible (Overbeeke, Djajadiningrat, Hummels, Wensveen, & Frens, 2005a). Therefore, the shift in the use context, together with the need to create attractive IT artefacts explains, to a certain extent, the ever-growing interest on the study of user experience. Indeed, extant literature on this field is certainly rich. However, the majority of studies adopt the quantitative approach, and emphasise the measurement of impact of cognitive and affective factors on user satisfaction. Moreover, in several occasions, user experience is investigated through the lens of usability, as it is often considered the latter’s offspring, which makes the differentiation between the two quite difficult (Law, 2011). Most importantly however, such approaches lead inevitably to results that remain silent on people-product relationships and “the wider role that products play in users’ lives” (Jordan, 2000). Not unexpectedly, there are numerous, qualitative-based studies, as well. Yet, they tend to focus on specific aspects of the experience, as for example, enchantment and engagement, and typically they typically deal with positive and pleasurable experiences. In light of this, the present thesis adopts an interpretive approach towards investigating users’ experience with the tablet, a portable touch-focused IT artefact, which has been relatively recently popularised with the advent of the iPad and similar devices. The main objective is to understand in detail how users use the tablet and the role the tablet plays in their lives, in order to understand additional issues governing the relationship between users and portable IT artefacts, a central challenge for the user experience literature and practice. The thesis is structured around an interpretive embedded single case study, investigating user accounts as documented through unsolicited blogposts. Specifically, it follows three distinct, yet interconnected paths. First, the analysis traces user sensemaking with the IT artefact, with the objective to understand the process through which users formulate and interpret their own, private experiences, without separating the investigated phenomenon from the context within which it unfolds. Second, it focuses on the fact that even the most advanced information systems may fail to meet user expectations; therefore, it investigates user sensemaking specifically under uncertain, unfamiliar and even problematic episodes that may take place during one’s interaction with the tablet; therefore, it investigates user sensemaking, seeking to examine how such episodes may affect the overall user experience. Third, it describes and delineates the impact of the various components of experience on each other and on the user’s emotions, placing particular emphasis on the dynamic nature of the experience, investigating in detail its spatiotemporality, and the semantic charge of the interaction, as perceived through the aesthetics of the IT artefact and the various stimuli communicated through the human factors and the cognitive ergonomics. The study’s results show that making sense of experience with technology, and specifically with the tablet, is a highly dynamic process, and begins from the early stages of users’ considering to acquire it or anticipating their interaction. With regards to uncertain conditions, there is ample evidence that workarounds are in no way related to resistance-related intentions, and that in several occasions, when the IT artefact seems to fail initially set goals, users may choose to adapt themselves to the tablet rather than replace it with a different computing device, simply because the overarching resulting experience is pleasurable; they thus proceed to minimise the importance of the witnessed discrepancy. In addition, findings illustrate that the tablet can acquire several roles within everyday life, none of which is mutually exclusive. In other words, the tablet transcends the boundaries between the work and the home environment, and is used interchangeably in a myriad of ways. While examining user narratives, results have shown that, all the components are important for the formulation of the user experience. Yet, the semantic charge, i.e., the experience of meaning is particularly significant, since several users develop strong associations and even personify the device; both behaviours leading to a unique experience. The central contribution of the study is that it has approached experience with technology holistically, without focusing on snapshots of the phenomenon, by examining it through the user’s viewpoint, within the sociocultural context it unfolds. In contrast to the majority of research on experience with technology, it has focused on the process of making sense of experience from the early stages of interacting with the IT artefact, up to the point of technology failing users’ expectations. Therefore, it has offered insightful results in relation to user practices at the individual level without adopting a strict task- or hedonic-specific perspective. This is in contrast to most studies, which adopt an organisational or task-specific perspective, awarding the individual or the technology with a fixed role.
Subject :Computer science
Information systems
Date Issued :2014
Licence :

File: Zamani_2014.pdf

Type: application/pdf