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Title: A user-centric approach for the development and evaluation of a visual interface to online information in the construction industry
Author: Shaaban, Sameh Mahmoud.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3394 9907
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2004
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Previous research in construction information use has emphasised the crucial role of accessing and retrieving information to daily decision making. With the overwhelming increase and complexity of construction information, let alone the exponential growth of online resources, problems with current online information access systems (OIAS) have clearly appeared. They include information overload, unreliable search results, and lack of integration with users' information skills or needs. As this subject area has matured, the need to augment current construction OIAS with new techniques that improve access and facilitate assimilation of information has emerged. This study focuses on adopting information visualisation (IV) techniques for that purpose. It aimed to develop a Web-based visual interface (VisExplorer), to online construction information. The study adopted a user-centric approach for the development and evaluation of VisExplorer. This involved analysing the usage patterns of a live Web-based construction OIAS for a two-year period, which contributed to the development and the empirical evaluation of VisExplorer. The evaluation established that VisExplorer was successful in achieving its objectives. It provided an alternative method to finding construction information. It was effective in enabling better understanding of search results. It also introduced an undemanding intuitive visual information workspace, which industry professionals perceived as of improved utility. It is concluded that adopting information visualisation techniques to the online information access system has improved the information seeking experience of construction industry professionals. The visual exploration of search results was successful in assisting users to achieve complex seeking tasks. The development methodology of VisExplorer not only contributes to the implementation of information visualisation in construction, but it provides a reliable approach to the research and development of information visualisation tools for Web-based information access systems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: complexity ; decision making ; evaluation ; integration ; skills ; visualisation