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Title: Rapid contextual evaluation : an exploration of the application of field methods to usability evaluation
Author: Monahan, Kelly
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2011
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Human-Computer Interaction