My User Experience Journals
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User experience journal. This journal was chosen as one of the best UX journals submission 2010 by Christine & Bhuva, QUT Senior Lecturers. ...

User experience journal. This journal was chosen as one of the best UX journals submission 2010 by Christine & Bhuva, QUT Senior Lecturers.

I rate this journal "5 Mice" and would recommend to anyone who wants to learn or gain knowledge with User Experience..

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My User Experience Journals My User Experience Journals Document Transcript

  • Masters of InfTech, QUT, Australia WAN HARRIS ZAKY HJ.IBRAHIM MY USER EXPERIENCE User Experiences Logbook 6th March, 2012
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_WanEXECUTIVE SUMMARY This user experiences logbook consists of three parts. In part A, it consists of mycritiques impression based on the articles being discussed in class weekly and articleschosen from Course Materials Database (CMD). In part B journalling, I had writtenseven weekly journals that critically reflect on issues and ideas brought out in class,lesson learned about users experiences as well as relating to how it could assist me inmy future career and thoughts about the implications of my profession and personalcareer. Also, the logbook covers on what I would like to learn about user experiencesand how to go about it in the aspect of my professional development. In addition to this logbook, in Part C journalling, I had also written six differentjournals weekly that reflects on what I had learned about user experience based on therecommended, relevant and authoritative resources. Consequently, I had includedcomments on usefulness of the different types of resources in helping as being part ofmy learning curve based on lessons learned throughout this unit. Page 2 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_WanTABLE OF CONTENTSEXECUTIVE SUMMARY ............................................................................................................................. 2PART A .................................................................................................................................................... 5 Read and write about User Experience articles .................................................................................... 5 1. ARTICLE: Transliteracy – take a walk on the wild side by Susie Andretta (2009). ....................... 5 2. ARTICLE: World Brain – The idea of a permanent world encyclopedia by Wells (1937). ............ 6 3. ARTICLE: Five personality dimensions and their influence on information behavior by Heinstrom (2003). ............................................................................................................................ 7 4. ARTICLE: Everyday life information seeking by Savolainen (1995). ........................................... 8 5. ARTICLE: Modeling the information seeking of professionals by Leckie et al. (1996) ............... 10 6. ARTICLE: Information Foraging by Pirolli and Card (1999). ...................................................... 12 7. ARTICLE: Understanding Users by Sharp et al. (2007). ............................................................ 14PART B - JOURNALLING I ........................................................................................................................ 16 I. WEEK 1 JOURNAL................................................................................................................... 16 II. WEEK 2 JOURNAL................................................................................................................... 17 III. WEEK 3 JOURNAL................................................................................................................... 18 V. WEEK 5 JOURNAL ................................................................................................................ 20 IV. WEEK 4 JOURNAL................................................................................................................... 19 VI. WEEK 6 JOURNAL ................................................................................................................ 22 VII. WEEK 7 JOURNAL ................................................................................................................ 23PART C - JOURNALLING II ....................................................................................................................... 24 I. WEEK 1 JOURNAL................................................................................................................... 24 II. WEEK 2 JOURNAL................................................................................................................... 26 III. WEEK 4 JOURNAL................................................................................................................... 27 IV. WEEK 5 JOURNAL................................................................................................................... 29 V. WEEK 6 JOURNAL................................................................................................................... 32 VI. WEEK 7 JOURNAL................................................................................................................... 34REFERENCES .......................................................................................................................................... 36 Page 3 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_WanLIST OF FIGURES:Figure 1: The Basic Components of the Study of ELIS ..................................................................... 9Figure 2: A Model of the Information Seeking of Professionals...................................................... 11Figure 3: Technology Acceptance Model (TAM).............................................................................. 26Figure 4: The Linking of Culture, Knowledge and ICTs .................................................................. 29Figure 5: The Media Gap ................................................................................................................... 30Figure 6: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs ............................................................................................ 31Figure 7: The Hype Cycle for Social Software, 2010....................................................................... 33 Page 4 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_WanPART ARead and write about User Experience articles1. ARTICLE: Transliteracy – take a walk on the wild side by Susie Andretta (2009). The main focus of Andretta’s (2009) paper was on the concept of transliteracy.According to Andretta, the term refers to, “the convergence of a number of academicdisciplines such as English, Communication and Cultural Studies and New MediaStudies” (p. 2). In order to determine how transliteracy was viewed in the eyes ofprofessionals within the field of information technology, Andretta conducted fourinterviews. Andretta approached each of the interviews by asking only one simple questionwhich was if the participant had ever heard of the term transliteracy. She did not askany further questions but instead allowed the participants to develop their own answersin relation to the topic presented. After the interviews, Andretta learnt that out of the fourparticipants, only one had heard of the term transliteracy and the rest were familiar withthe concept but not the terminology. Andretta pointed out that just because theprofessionals were not familiar with the actual word transliteracy, in no way does it implythat they are unfamiliar with the concepts behind it. In fact, Andretta noted that each andevery one of the professionals was regularly involved in activities which required asignificant level of transliteracy. I think that Andretta’s approach of asking just one question throughout the courseof the interview was interesting but not sufficient. She should have asked theparticipants background questions as to what their thoughts on traditional standards ofliteracy and literacy in the information age were. She went into the interviews assumingthat because these professionals worked with technology, they would automatically befamiliar with all terminology related to the field. As previously learnt, an interviewer hasto ask the most basic questions and assume that their audience is unaware of any Page 5 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wantechnical terms regardless of their profession. In addition, the interviews are somewhatprejudiced, as it seems all the interviewees came from the same professions rather thana mix of professions.2. ARTICLE: World Brain – The idea of a permanent world encyclopedia by Wells (1937). Wells (1937) even decades ago acknowledged the need for a collection ofknowledge that stemmed from a multitude of sources. Wells argued that encyclopediaswere no longer the norm in which to seek information from in an evolving world. Instead,media outlets such as radios, newspapers, photographs as well as other outlets wereneeded to be taken seriously as sources of information, “modern facilities of transport,radio, photographic reproduction and so forth are rendering practicable a much morefully succinct and accessible assembly of fact and ideas than was ever possible before”(Wells, 1937). Wells (1937) argued that the custom of turning to libraries for information wasrather outdated and inconsistent to the growth which was happening on a global level.In order to keep up with progress, the same type of information needed to be accessibleto all members of the human race regardless of their location or background. Wellsmaintained that the new encyclopedia would be a world encyclopedia in which allinformation was readily available on a permanent basis to all humans. Wells was alsoadamant that this vision was not some far off fantasy but an evitable part of humanprogress. It is clear that Wells (1937) as a thinker was way beyond his time. He saw theneed for a diverse yet unified source of information for the entire globe, the internet isjust that. Wells vision of a World Encyclopedia has been realized in the form of theinternet which supplies a unified body of knowledge from diverse media sources toeducate the mass populations of the globe. While it is true that the internet is providinga unified body of knowledge to the world population, one has to be careful in shifting Page 6 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wanthrough what information is true versus false. In order to distinguish fact from fiction,every member of the general population needs to be literate in a wide array of media.3. ARTICLE: Five personality dimensions and their influence on information behavior by Heinstrom (2003). Heinstrom’s (2003) study emphasizes the relationship between a userspsychological mindset in relation to their method of seeking out information. Hence,their information behavior is affected by individual’s trait of personality. Heinstrom isquick to point out that there is no specific personality type which holds the idealstandard in terms of information processing. Personality is defined as a, “pattern ofcharacteristic thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that distinguishes one person fromanother and that persists over time and situation” (Heinstrom, 2003). The study was based on an analysis of five different aspects of personalityranging from neuroticism, extraversion, and openness to experience, competitivenessand conscientiousness. According to Heinstrom (2003), “neuroticism relates to negativeemotions of a person, extraversion relates to informal information over frustration onretrieving documents and openness to experience relates to wider aspect in quest ofinformation”. Meanwhile, “competitiveness relates to insufficient time to informationretrieval and lastly, conscientiousness relates to selection of provoking documents”(Heinstrom, 2003). Results indicated that dependant on the predominate personality traits of theindividual involved, information seeking is performed in distinct manners. In addition, ifan individual is a combination of the presented traits, they will seek out information indifferent ways from those of their peers who are only one particular trait. The dominatetrait in person who has a combination of traits will always preside and reign over weakertraits, “for instance when a foremost conservative but conscientious person overcomeshis/her cautious inclination towards confirming information by taking the effort to explorenew challenging documents” (Heinstrom, 2003). Page 7 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wan Although Heinstrom makes some very valid points that personality impacts themanner in which an individual searches for information, I think more research needs tobe performed in this area. An individual is composed of various traits that make up theirpersonality, in order to fully understand how each of these traits impacts the manner inwhich an individual searches for information, more in-depth studies need to beperformed on each particular trait. Nevertheless, it is captivating to learn that differentpeople search for information differently in the aspect of human information behavior.4. ARTICLE: Everyday life information seeking by Savolainen (1995). Savolainen’s (1995) study concentrates on everyday life information seeking orELIS. According to Savolainen, ELIS involves four processes which include, “optimistic-cognitive, pessimistic-cognitive, defensive-affective and pessimistic-affective mastery oflife” (p. 259). Based on research from previous surveys, Savolainen explains that amajority of people rely on informal sources rather than libraries for collectinginformation. Keeping previous research in mind, Savolainen set out to find howindividual ELIS types tend to influence the manner in which individuals seek information. Results indicated that social class has a large impact on the manner in whichindividuals set out to seek information. For instance, individuals with a higher level ofeducation are more proactive in seeking information from various locations and sources.They are more active in pursuing information from the library as well as electronicsources rather than just depending on one or the other. Savolainen (1995) argues thatindividuals only seek out information that is limited to the confines of their uniquesituation. For instance, the accessibility and availability of information plays a large rolein whether an individual will choose to seek it out or not. Savolainen (1995, p.268) illustrates the ELIS framework as shown in figure 1,which was useful in the analysis of ELIS. It shows a close relationship between Page 8 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wan“Mastery of Life” and “Way of Life” that determine each other. Savolainen’s theorycorrelates well to Dervin’s sense-making theory, where people move through time andspace encountering unique situations and when they come across a “gap” in theirknowledge, thus having to bridge it with information (Dervin, 1992, p.68). Figure 1: The Basic Components of the Study of ELISSource: Savolainen, 1995, p. 268. Savolainen (1995) presents a very interesting insight as to how and whyparticular individuals set out to seek a particular type of information versus another.However, more research is needed on different classes of individuals and theirinformation seeking habits by including the situational or context factors affectinginformation seeking and use. For example, instead of just concentrating on the middle Page 9 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wanor upper classes, the presented research needs to be expanded to low-income classesor those who are un-employed. Subgroups within each class also need to be taken intoconsideration. These groups could be divided by age, sex, health conditions, etc. Oncemore in-depth research is preformed on sub groups more insight into their informationseeking habits can be gathered.5. ARTICLE: Modeling the information seeking of professionals by Leckie et al. (1996) Leckie, Pettigrew and Sylvain (1996) performed a study on how professionals inthe fields of engineering, healthcare and law set out to seek specific types ofinformation. According to Leckie et al. (1996), they were chosen because they represent“a body of scholarship and divergent types of professions”. These practitioners mainlycover the aspect of technical as well as human clients. The justification for this studywas two-fold. First, more information is needed in this area and second, thanks to theinternet more information vendors are looking for ways to target the needs ofprofessionals in specific areas. The study was set up by breaking down the professionals in each field into morespecific categories. For example, those in the health care field were broken down intophysicians, nurses, dentists, etc. Similarly, those in the engineering field like engineersand consultants, it is intriguing to learn the sturdy relationship between accessibility,frequency of use and the degree of experience (Gerstberger & Allen in Leckie etal.,1996, pp.166-167). The proposed model of the information seeking of professionalswhich is made up of six components can be illustrated as in figure 2 below. Page 10 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wan Figure 2: A Model of the Information Seeking of ProfessionalsSource: Leckie et al., 1996, p.180. Afterwards, the researcher studied the specific patterns that each group possesin the information seeking process. Specific purposes of seeking information those suchas, “providing a service or product, completing paperwork, realizing operational benefits,and achieving professional development goals” (Leckie et al, 1996, p. 187). Theresearch concluded that tracking the information seeking habits of professionals is not asimple process but involves an understanding of each profession, their needs as well asthe needs of the clients or patients involved. One of the biggest similarities betweenthose in all professions is that they did not depend on only one source for gatheringinformation but relied on several sources such as books, databases, etc. Page 11 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wan Although Leckie et al. (1996) acknowledged that further research needs to beperformed on how each professional functions as a whole rather than a separate entityfrom their workplace; I believe their research was a bit inconclusive. Furthermore, theso-called original model the authors derive from previous research is deficient in detail.Instead of trying to study the habits of professionals in three very distinct fields, theresearchers should have focused on one profession in particular. With a greaterconcentration on one profession, the researchers could have presented a moreconclusive report has to how information is sought by these professionals.6. ARTICLE: Information Foraging by Pirolli and Card (1999). Pirolli and Card (1999) present the information foraging theory (IFT) as a solutionto understanding how individuals adjust their information seeking strategies dependingon the context they are in. Pirolli and Card (1999) also describe an account ofinformation gathering behavior based on the ecological behaviors of animals whenforaging for food. The account can be applied to contexts in which people aresearching for information in a number of different contexts such as in a library or on thewebsite. The theory rests on coherent analysis in that it proposes human behaviour isdirected by the objective to maximise gain and minimise effort, thus this process issensitive to changes in the environment (Pirolli & Card, 1999). In contrast to animalstudies (Pirolli & Card, 1999), the assumption in IFT is that people attempt to reduce theratio of information gained to time spent. According to Pirolli and Card (1999), the way in which the environment context isstructured determines the costs of search for information. For instance, the structure ofa website will determine how many pages the user has to navigate through in order tosatisfy a person’s goal. When seeking for information on the internet, many peoplemake use of search engines. After entering some key words, the user is presented witha list of search results which are usually structured in terms of their relevance to the Page 12 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wankeywords. Each of the results returned can be considered to be a “patch” of information(Pirolli & Card, 1999). The user has to choose to either investigate one of the patchesor to redefine their search criteria. Conducting another search using different key wordswill result in a change in the contexts. Hence, this process is known as enriching theenvironment context. Meanwhile, the decision to forage within a particular patch ofinformation is based on an ongoing assessment of information scent (Pirolli & Card,1999). The optimal foraging theory (OFT) predicts that as more time is allocated towithin-patch foraging, the rate of information return increases but only up to an optimalpoint, after which the rate starts to decrease (Pirolli & Card, 1999). Hence, after aparticular amount of within-patch foraging (searching within a website) it becomes moreprofitable to move to the next patch (select another website from the list of searchresults) even though there are still pages within the previous patch that have not yetbeen visited (Pirolli & Card, 1999). The main argument of the theory is that people naturally gravitate towardsinformation which is stable, reliable as well as cost effective. Pirolli and Card argue thatthe main problem behind this theory is not lack of information but rather the organizationof information which is available and the presentation of that information as well. A study performed by Pirolli and Card (1999) as to how MBA students sought outinformation revealed that the general method was maximum information output withminimum time spent on searching for resources. It was revealed that the MBA studentsare known as a “foraging organisms” for being more active in foraging as compared tobusiness intelligence professional (Pirolli and Card, 1999, p.670). In cases wheredeadlines were involved, students chose to ignore more extensive resources such asbooks and turned towards the internet for the maximum amount of information theycould find, “people adapt to the constraints and problems they face in complex, Page 13 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wandynamic, often technology-based environments in which they perform tasks that requireprocessing external information-bearing resources” (Pirolli and Card, 1999, p. 671). Pirolli and Card (1999) are correct in maintaining that how individuals seek outinformation depends on a variety of factors. Indeed, the more a website or database isused, the more it flourishes and vice versa. However, in order to examine theinformation foraging theory in greater detail, Pirolli and Card should have studied agreater and more diverse population than just MBA students. The study was carried outin a formal environment in which students were expected to search for information in acertain manner. In order to understand how non-students such as professionals seekout information under different circumstances, more studies need to be conducted.7. ARTICLE: Understanding Users by Sharp et al. (2007). The main focus of Sharp, Rogers and Preece’s (2007) study was to determinethe role of cognition in relation to the field of interaction design. According to Sharp et al.(2007), cognition involves, “cognitive processes, like thinking, remembering, learning,daydreaming, decision-making, seeing, reading , writing and talking” (p. 94). Cognitionis composed of specific processes that are broken down into the following categories:attention, perception and recognition, memory, learning, reading, speaking and listeningas well as problem solving, planning and decision making (Sharp et al., 2007, p.94). Contrary to these findings, Sharp et al. (2007) suggested using cognitiveframeworks (mental models, theory of action, information processing, external cognitionand distributed cognition) to predict user behavior (p.116). To elaborate further, thecognitive information processing model has three different memory stages: sensorystore, short-term memory and long-term memory. The sensory store and workingmemory stages are related to perceptual and motor processing, whereas short-termmemory and long-term memory are related to cognitive processing (Card et al., 1983). Page 14 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wan The theory of action, Norman in Sharp et al. (2007) states the seven stages of anactivity - “establish a goal, form an intention, specify an action sequence, execute anaction, perceive the system state, interpret the state and finally evaluate the systemstate with respect to the goals and intentions”. In the same way, Card, Moran andNewell (1983) developed a cognitive model called GOMS based on the cognitiveinformation processing model. According to Card et al.(1983), the GOMS modelconsists of four components that demonstrate how to process tasks between users anda computer system: a) Goals to be achieved in the process, b) Operators performing the sequencing methods and interacting with the system, c) Methods representing the sequence of the tasks performed by the operators, and d) Selection rules choosing the best strategies and solutions for the best methods to obtain the goals.The GOMS model seeks to “predict the time required to complete the task. In addition,the model can be used to identify and predict the effects of errors on task performance.Error recovery is assumed to involve the same four components as correct actions”(Card, Moran & Newell, 2005). The researchers explored all processes in greater detail and outlined the bestpossible designs that would facilitate the inclusion of each cognitive process. Forinstance, in terms of memory, Sharp et al. (2007) suggested that design should be keptsimple while prompting recall through the use of icons. Sharp et al. also stressed theimportance of interaction when it comes to learning rather than simple instruction. Inorder to prevent cognitive overload, learners have to be presented with more than onecognitive outlet. For instance, a textbook should consist of illustrations and text ratherthan just one or the other. In addition, the use of mnemonic helps users to rememberthe information better (Sharp et al., 2007, p.103). This is because Sharp et al. observedthat the like of using personal information management has been a growing concern for Page 15 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wanmany people as their documents keep on increasing each day, causing difficult to lookfor at a later day (p.103). Sharp et al (2007) present a very in-depth look at how the understanding ofcognitive processes can aid in the design of learning materials as well as userinterfaces. I found this particular study to be very simple to understand given itscomplexity and depth. However, the material would have been more relevant if greateremphasis were placed on modern interface design such as RSS feeds, search engines,social media sites, podcastings, wikis and blogs. Although textbooks and othereducational material are still relevant in today’s learning environment, the importance ofsocial media and its design should not be underestimated. Furthermore, the emergenceof social media technology such as Web 2.0, have made users realised its benefits areenormous. Instead, researchers should place a greater emphasis on cognitivefunctions and new user interfaces.PART B - JOURNALLING II. WEEK 1 JOURNAL The main focus of this week was the concept of transliteracy. Unlike previousgenerations, I now understand that in order to be successful in any career I pursue, Ineed to be “transliterate”. As described by Andretta, the meaning of transliteracyinvolves the ability to shift through a wide array of media and effectively analyze what isbeing presented. From this week, I learnt that although users are not aware of technicalterms for what they are doing, this does not mean that they are incapable of shiftingthrough a media rich world. Every day, millions of people login to check their emails,update their Facebook statuses, maintain blogs, forums, wikis and upload videos to thenet without consciously thinking about what they are doing. Although actuallyperforming these tasks is important, it is equally important for users to understand whythey are choosing a certain method over another. They should be aware of what Page 16 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wanmethods best work and which methods are less effective in trying to present a particularmessage or voice. Keeping this in mind, I believe that it is extremely important that transliteracy istaught in schools such as colleges as well as universities. It should be put on the samepedestal as learning how to read and write. If students are taught to be “transliterate”,they will be able to navigate new technology with greater ease and familiarity. Simplyteaching students terms is not enough but they also need to be given the skills to solvetheir own problems when presented with a different type of issues. From the perspective of an IT professional, I believe that keeping up with newterms and technology is also very important. As professionals, it is important tounderstand what operation is being performed so greater clarity is achieved whileundertaking any type of specific and exigent task.II. WEEK 2 JOURNAL From week 2, the main lesson that I took away is the fact that we can no longerview the world, countries, communities and populations as isolate entities. With thegrowth in the global economy, it is only natural for the world to gravitate towards acentral source where all information can be obtained, stored and referred to. I believethat although entities such as libraries are important for traditions sake, they will only bestatus symbols if they are not also available on electronic format. As the population is moving towards a centralized forum for seeking information,I believe that it is more important than ever before that those involved in the IT industrymake all such forums as transparent as possible. Also, there needs to be some generalrules and regulations as to what is considered a valid piece of information. If allinformation is available to everyone in such an open forum, it is going to be harder forindividuals to distinguish fact from fiction. One excellent example is in the case where I Page 17 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wanhad experienced developing an online Enterprise forum myself for the community. Inorder to overcome this, I suggest that there is some regulatory committee whichseparates official data which can be used for academic purposes versus data that maybe based solely on opinion. In addition, I also need to be ethical in terms of myresponsibility, accountability and liability to the community. This is because Stoodley etal. (2010) research on “how IT professionals can be more ethical in their practice”correlates well with my IT profession. According to Stoodley et al. (2010), being ethicalcan be attainable by “primarily understood the purpose of IT in user-oriented, the natureof professional ethics in other-centred and the goal of ethics education towards others”(p.17). In the same way, the internet allows individuals more freedom to explore variousaspects of media that were previously closed to them thus are able to make their ownconclusions instead of relying on those presented by other people. I believe that eachindividual has a personal duty to present and post information on the internet in amanner which is honest rather than based on fabrications and lies. Above all, I believethat IT professionals need to be media literate and understand how people readinformation presented to them in an electronic format. In the past, professionals’responsibility was limited to those in the medical field but this is no longer the case, italso stems to IT professionals who control a majority of the world’s information sources.III. WEEK 3 JOURNAL The main focus or message I took away from week three was the importance ofunderstanding that not everyone processes and seeks information in the same manner.Every individual is composed of a multitude of personality traits thus differ in how theysearch for information. As an IT professional, it can be easy to assume that everyone isthe same thus has the same web browsing habits, visit the same sites and rely on thesame sources. As learned in week three, not everyone relies on Google or Wikipedia tosupply them with information, more conservative personality types still do exist and they Page 18 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wansearch for information from sources they believe are more established and credible.Understanding personality types can aid IT professionals in deciding what informationavenue is underdeveloped and need more attention. Although the internet is growing faster than ever, a majority of this growth comesfrom the diversity of the individual running it and seeking information from it. Seekinginformation in a fast method may be acceptable for some personality types but it isimportant to note that not everyone values speed. A majority of recent IT culture iscentered on speed and conciseness. It is important to consider that not everyone likesinformation which is presented in the same manner nor processes information in thesame manner. In order to accommodate different personality types, IT professionalneed to develop a wider array of information resources which present the same type ofinformation but in a different format. Simply relying on short articles and search engineresults is not sufficient. There are personality types who feel more comfortable shiftingthrough books rather than blogs, podcasts and wikis. It is the responsibility of the ITprofessional to recognize and value all information seeking personality types.IV. WEEK 4 JOURNAL The focus of week 4 was appreciating different methods of seeking informationdepending on an individual’s social class. Those who of are in university, automaticallyassume that everyone in the world sets out to seek information in the same manner thatwe do. We do not stop to consider that there are a great number of people who do nothave access to technology on a daily basis nor can they afford to buy that which weconsider the most basic. Prior to this week, I did not stop and consider how I wouldsearch for information if I did not have access to a computer (be it using a Notebook,Netbook, Tablet or Smartphone) and the internet on a daily basis. I cannot imaginegoing to the library or performing all of my research in a constrained fashion. Page 19 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wan As technology progresses, IT professionals need to understand that it needs tobe accessible to everyone. This does not mean that everyone necessarily needs accessto a computer and the internet 24 hours, 7 days a week. However, it does mean thatprofessionals need to consider how people in less fortunate social circumstances canmake the most out of the limited access they do have. For instance, currently, a majorityof reliable, peer-reviewed journals are available via paid subscriptions only. People whodo not have the funds are not going to be able to ever access this material but they cango to the library and get the same information for free. In order to bring down socialbarriers, reliable, academic sources such as peer-reviewed journals should be readilyavailable to all those who seek them, thus providing people satisfaction. One of my goals as an IT professional is to develop technology which revolvesaround the philosophy of equal opportunity. In addition, I also need to consider andtackle some aspect of digital divide issues, by providing equal accessibility andopportunity for all the individuals, especially for individuals with disabilities. Technologyshould not exist to serve the purposes of the upper and middle classes only. If theworld is headed in a direction whose main focus is on accessibility and unity then itneeds to consider social situation.V. WEEK 5 JOURNAL Now more than ever before, professionals are turning towards technology to fulfilltheir information seeking needs. Consumerization of IT has now become the businessstrategy of organisations (Raskino, 2010, pg.2). In the past, professions such those inmedical field and law were very strict and followed a certain protocol that could not besurpassed. Certain documents were relied upon for supplying knowledge. As the worldbecomes more technologically advanced, these once scared professions need to keepup with the times. More and more consumers are turning towards technology to fulfillcertain needs and desire. The presence of online pharmacies (be it e-Health,telemedicine, e-medical or mobile health) and entities which give particular advice are Page 20 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wanrapidly growing such as Indivo and Microsoft HealthVault. However, it is yet to beknown if this is something positive or negative. I strongly believe that technology is an important but correct advice and aformalized body of knowledge is just as important. As more and more professionals turnto informal sources to gather their information, it is grave that the information that ispresented is correct. Incorrect information can lead to serious consequences that areirreversible. This once gain comes back to the formalization of particular bodies ofknowledge. In order to ensure that professionals such as those in the medical field areseeking out information in the correct manner, there needs to be a formalized bodywhich they can rely on. In an age where technology has no boundaries, it is imperative to remember thata certain level of authority needs to remain. In the future, I would like to work more withspecialized knowledge and learn how it can be made accessible to a specific professionwithout being devalued or flawed. I realize that as more information becomes readilyavailable, it becomes harder for individuals as well as professionals to filter through thevaluable and invaluable. For instance, I learned that they are such a group in the forumthat I had recently developed, whom I called them - the Abilene Paradox (theChameleon effect), the Spiral of Silence and the Core Group Theory. The AbileneParadox occurs when the person act in a way that is opposite of what he or she actuallywanted, thus causing to misguide myself in doing certain activities in the forum(12Manage, 2010a). Meanwhile, the Spiral of Silence occurs when a person is lesslikely to voice out opinion as one feels for fear and isolation from other group members,thus concealing his or her own views (12Manage, 2010b). On the other hand, the CoreGroup Theory occurs when the person believed that he or she is the one to be called atrue wizard in the forum, for having a vast knowledge and skills compared to others(12Manage, 2010c). Page 21 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wan All these have to be noted and taken into account when conducting an onlineforum. I would like to make this process a lot easier, perhaps by empowering everyoneto participate through “architecture of participation and collective intelligence” (O’Reilly,2005). Moreover, it is vitally important to trust each other within the web community asthey are the brand! I must learn from my mistakes and experiment a lot of newtechnologies that are readily available.VI. WEEK 6 JOURNAL The main aspect of this week that I found most important is cost effectiveness.As a university student, I am often on a budget and automatically strive to find the bestdeals. This is not because I am cheap but because I simply do not have the money forluxuries. This week made me think of information seeking in terms of monetary value. Irealize that I am a part of the student body that thinks that textbooks are overpriced andneed to be made cheaper. However, when I do not have time to do my own research, Iautomatically buy textbooks which the professors recommend for extended reading.The problem is twofold: I value my money but I also value my time. When I am hardpressed for time, I rather throw money at the problem and watch it disappear rather thanstress myself out. I believe that IT professionals need to find a balance between both costeffectiveness as well as time effectiveness while allowing leeway for one or the other.Technology needs to be time efficient as well as cost effective but of course needs to bedependable and enticing as well. Many social media sites such as Facebook, Twitterand YouTube are free while other sites that contain more specialized knowledge areextremely expensive. I truly think that there should be some sort of balance betweenservices that are offered over the internet. A majority of free sites on the internet do notprovide detailed, sufficient or adequate knowledge. They skim over topics and thosesites which do provide more detail basically are incorrect half of the time. Site such asWikipedia should have some sort of authorization stamp that proves that they contain Page 22 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wanknowledge which is 100% accurate, thus, being recognized as a credible and reliablesource for fact-finding. Students who are under time constraints yet do not have asignificant amount of funds need to be able to access a correct and informativeknowledge database without worrying about the accuracy of the information presented.VII. WEEK 7 JOURNAL This week was particularly difficult because it involved the consideration ofcognitive processes. In the past, I firmly believed that all things that dealt with cognitionwere best kept in the field of psychology. After going over the material presented in thisweek, I better understand that the knowledge of basic psychology is important to all fieldregardless of how irrelevant it may seem. Prior to this week, I was under the impressionthat in terms of the internet, the flashier is always better for having rich userexperiences. Web 2.0 framework only taught me how to gain a rich user experiencesby having a rich internet applications on my blog. Hence, it provides a dynamic platformthat creates richer and more exciting experience for user. It seems that everywhere one navigates; there are big neon sign which boast tobe more popular or cooler. Very little attention is paid to the layout of websites in termsof being an educational tool which is easy to navigate as well as informative.Traditionally, well-designed textbooks have been the gold standard in terms of beingmodel educational materials. It is time for this to change. I should not be afraid of thesechanges as it can lead to something better in work life. This is further supported byJohnson (2002) findings on dealing with changes. As a developing IT professional, Ibelieve that it is our responsibility to take the view of the design of websites assomething which either enhances or hinders the users learning experience. Flashywebsite designs may be the norm for entertainment based sites but this does not meanit should be the norm for educational sites. I learned that there are times when simple isbetter. There is nothing wrong with providing relevant, accurate information in a forumwhich is well designed but at the same time simple enough to navigate without any Page 23 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wanconfusion. Moreover, valuable information has an unprecedented power that could leadto a substantial knowledge for me. Throughout this course, I have learned that designs which are overly complicatedare often not the best learning environment. Many users prefer simple designs whichthey can easily navigate rather than those which are overly complex but do not provideenough resources to accurately fill the all informational needs.PART C - JOURNALLING III. WEEK 1 JOURNAL Personally, I believe that society is heading in a direction where all individualsare expected to be both socially and technologically transliterate, effortlessly shiftingfrom one mode to the other. With the invention of social media sites such as Facebook,Twitter and YouTube, the line between what is to be private and what should remainprivate has been irrevocably blurred. However, this does not stop with the online worldbut extends to almost every interaction we undertake with those physically around us. For instance, with the invention of the iPhone, individuals were able to stayconnected with those on the online world. They were able to effortlessly send text,Tweets, status updates etc. without really interacting with those in their actual physicalenvironment. However, as Bolt, Evans and Harrell (2010) point out, the emergence ofthe iPad has completely changed the meaning of transliteracy. Instead of limiting theirsocial interaction to the online world, everyday consumers are forced to simultaneouslyengage in the online and offline worlds. Many physical vendors are using the iPad as acash register thus forcing customers to be transliterate both socially and technologically,“With the iPhone Square application, customers were required to complete their owntransaction. And now with the iPad, do the customers step up and add their own tip— Page 24 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wanentering the private space of the merchant and cash register—or stay clear of thetransaction altogether” (Bolt et al, 2010). We could see how technology is being embraced by different types of peoplearound us. People are using technology that has now become more and moresophisticated and complex. These technologies provide big opportunities to gain acompetitive advantage since information could be obtained, processed and transmittedat very low costs (Porter & Millar in Zakour, 2009, p.132). However, in order forconsumers to take full advantage of technology, they have to understand the newchallenge provided by this technology (Tapscott & Caston in Zakour, 2009, p.132).Although consumers adopt technology that best fit for their business activities, theycannot guarantee the way it behaves unless they use it appropriately. According toAgarwal (1999, p.85), "acquiring appropriate IT is necessary but not sufficient conditionfor utilizing it effectively". With the globalisation experiencing unlimited interconnection possibilities and anincreasing number of people collaborating each other, the emerging of newtechnologies are improving our daily working lives even further. One way to find outtheir technological usage is by conducting Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) asshown in figure 3, designed by Davis et al. (1989) and Venkatesh et al. (2003). TAM isbased on two key concepts: Perceived Usefulness (PU) and Perceived Ease of Use(PEOU) which determine an individuals intention to use a system with intention to useserving as a mediator of actual system use (Zakour, 2009, p.142). From figure 3, wecan see PU is also seen as being directly impacted by PEOU. As a result of this impact,it will have a direct effect on behavioral intention and subsequently having the actualsystem to be used by people (York University, 2010). Page 25 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wan Figure 3: Technology Acceptance Model (TAM)Source: York University, 2010 In order to understand how to engage in social interactions which involve newtechnology, all of us must be transliterate and understand how to use and interact withtechnology in everyday, offline situations. Being able to shift through Facebook, Twitter,YouTube, wikis and blogs is one thing but taking the social aspect into the real world isthe true meaning of transliteracy.II. WEEK 2 JOURNAL There is no doubt that the internet has become a world encyclopedia in whichvast amounts of information are given and taken in a matter of seconds. Virtually, anytype of information one is looking for can be centrally accessed by the internet.However, it is interesting to note, that unlike formalized books and encyclopedias, thecontent placed on the internet is mostly free of charge and most of its sources cannotbe certified. The internet has become a community of sharing and of open-exchange.According to Bays and Mowbry (1999), the internet is a gift-giving economy in which Page 26 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Waninformation is given and taken, “the Internet operates as a gift economy. IndividualInternet users donate content for other Internet users to use free of charge. In return,each individual receives access to all the content made available by others. The amountan individual receives is much more than they could ever produce”. Previous studies onthe connectivity of the internet were quick to point out that a centralized informationsystem is needed due to the increase of global commence. While this is true, howreliable is the internet as a source of verifiable information? Bays and Mowbry (1999) firmly believe that the internet as a whole is aconnected community of users who in general what to further each others userexperience by providing useful information. “In gift cultures, social status is determinednot by what you control but by what you give away” (Naughton, 2000, p.205). Thisconnection is evident is the name of common technology which is integral to the internetsuch as the term “cookies” which is a comforting term to most users. Although theinternet can be viewed as a giant encyclopedia, it is important to note that it is muchmore, it’s a centralized community or the new global community.III. WEEK 4 JOURNAL None of us search for and utilize information in the exact same manner, this isvirtually impossible. However, many of us do show similar search patterns according towhich particular group or social class which we belong to. For example, if generalized,university graduates and non-university graduates definitely search for information indifferent ways, this can be assumed due to educational differences and knowledge.While many developmental researchers target individuals, understanding how largergroups as a whole search for information and browse the internet is just as powerful. Wellings (2010) argues the case for turning towards interdependent group formodels of research design rather than interviewing individuals, “Most people operate aspart of a co-partnership or collective, where knowledge is distributed, tasks are divvied Page 27 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wanup, experiences are negotiated, and sharing is sometimes easy and sometimes reallyhard”. Wellings argues that although studying individuals has its benefits, technologyand user interfaces are not as isolated as we think. The author has a point, from myexperiences as a university student, I know how much of an impact social groups haveon how a user goes about gathering, accessing and utilizing information. For instance,if one of our peers recommends a great site for research, more than likely many of uswill flock to that site based solely on recommendation. Likewise, professors like Bhuvaand Christine talk among themselves to recommend the best sites for INN540 studentswho in turn also take their advice. Friends tell friends and viral marketing takes overcausing network effects. Friends of mine who share a certain income bracket or hobbygo about using the internet for different purposes than my friends who have otherinterests. I strongly believe that groups in terms of income levels as a whole needs to bean issue that requires further study. The lack of access to information, communication and technology (ICT), does notonly lead to exclusion from the new technologies but also to exclusion from the newknowledge economy (Castells in Herdin et al., 2009). Castells in Herdin et al. (2009)observed that people want to belong to a certain group and want to be identified as amember of such a group. They do not want to constantly act, think and live on a globallevel. The identity of the self cannot exist only on a global level and therefore, "thesearch for identity, collective or individual, ascribed or constructed, becomes thefundamental source of social meaning. … Yet identity is becoming the main andsometimes the only source of meaning in an historical period characterized bywidespread destructuring of organisations, delegitimation of institutions, fading away ofmajor social movements and ephemeral cultural expresssions" (p.1062). Therefore, Ihave learned that it is imperative to have an equal knowledge distribution, provision ofcapabilities and social inclusion as it can be understood further as shown in figure 4. Page 28 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wan Figure 4: The Linking of Culture, Knowledge and ICTsSource: Herdin et al., 2009, p.1063IV. WEEK 5 JOURNAL Professionals in all trades need to understand how to use technology and apply itto their everyday work lives. For instance, in the past, doctor’s offices could get awaywith keeping paper files on each patient but this is no longer the case. In order todevelop technology or intranet systems are truly effective and useful for theprofessionals involved, IT professionals need to truly understand and analyze theprofessional they are designing for. Furthermore, the use of social media technologysuch as blogs and wikis are beginning to fill the “media gap” (Neuman, 1991, p.5) asshown in figure 5. We must be able to support the growth and spread usage of thisemerging technology. I sense that the Tomita in Neuman’s model (figure 5) links verywell to Dervin’s sense-making theory (1992), on the “information gap”. Dervin (1992)metaphor describes how we should cross the bridge to retrieve the information, thusdealing with the situation and the gap during the journey of crossing the bridge (p.70). Page 29 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wan Figure 5: The Media GapSource: Neuman, 1991, p.10 Meanwhile, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and self-actualization(Chapman, 2004), we all seek to be fulfilled and that achieving our goals is one way ofachieving this state. Maslow’s theory went on to say that we all have five basic types or‘sets’ of need and these needs can be arranged or ‘stacked’ in such a way as to reflectthe order of their action upon us. He also tells us that the influence that these needsexert upon us is most potent when those needs are unsatisfied. From the diagram infigure 6, we can see that our need for warmth, food, water and shelter has to besatisfied before we begin to seek ‘higher’ needs such as the freedom to create anddesign. However, the degree of influence or ‘potency’ of the needs can be and often isinfluenced by our prior experiences. It tells us that people need to be allowed to answertheir social and creative needs as well as being able to have food, warmth, shelter andsecurity. Hence, this shows the cogent relationships between human factors and basichuman needs. Page 30 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wan Figure 6: Maslow’s Hierarchy of NeedsSource: Chapman, 2004 Pursuing this further, according to Robertson (2007), designing systems forprofessionals is a two-prong process which involves: needs analysis and strategy andscope. Unlike traditional design methods which focus on asking questions about user’squestions about the their experience using the system, needs analysis focuses on theuser, “This time, we don’t ask questions about the system, but instead focus onobtaining a more complete and holistic picture of what staff do and the environment inwhich they work” (Robertson, 2007). I believe that focusing on the actual needs of eachprofessional in terms of what their profession requires and organizational culture is amuch more effective method of designing a system rather than questioning how they goabout using the existing system. In addition, it is also useful to know their workflowprocess during the feasibility stage. As Robertson (2007) points out, it is better to start designing a system by tacklingthe biggest problem a professional has in accessing information related to their field. I Page 31 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wanthink that a system which tries to tackle all problems at once is ineffective and ultimatelywill fail. Instead, a user interface designed for a particular profession needs to targetlarge problems then as time goes on tackle the smaller problems. This can help in theintegration of the system as well as its user effectiveness.V. WEEK 6 JOURNAL I realize that user interface design can be very cheap or very expensivedepending on who is being targeted and how much room there is in the budget fortechnology in general. From the current readings and issues raised in class, I came tothe conclusion that the most expensive technology is not necessarily always the besttype of technology for an organization. For instance, a QUT library university can have afancy website with lots of paid pay per view journal options but it will never besuccessful if it does not have free options. Hess (2010) says it best, “Like a painter uses paint to communicate conceptsand emotions, user experience designers use technology to help people accomplishtheir goals. But the primary objective is to help people, not to make great technology”.Great technology or the newest and most expensive trend is amazing if it is competingin a contest but not in reality. In reality, users want convenience, they want the job doneand most of all they want the product to be affordable. I highly doubt that social mediasites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube would be as popular as they are now ifthey required paid access. The purpose of these sites is to connect users with oneanother that create a network effects and they perform that function. No one would haveguessed that such a simple user interface such as Twitter could have become such asuccess. It has no bells and whistles but it gets the job done, even though it has somelimitations being a microblogging tool that only allows sending a maximum of 140characters. Page 32 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wan In spite of its popularity for being a fast and easy way to disseminate information,microblogging tool like Twitter will have moderate impact on how the communitycollaborate and share ideas in organisations. It has greater potential to provideorganisation value by bringing together large group of people and providing them almostto real-time insights. (Mann in Gartner, 2010, p.40). According to Gartner (2010, p.5),the adoption of social media is expanding at a rapid pace with a broad spectrum ofuses. Hence, it enables people to unite and share a common of interest together, thusforming a “collective”. We can witness how social media has impacted us to date andthe future, as shown by Gartner in figure 7. Figure 7: The Hype Cycle for Social Software, 2010 What does this Gartner’s hype cycle tell us? My hypothesis suggests that wehave to adopt the social media sooner rather than later, because the greatest risk lies infailure to engage. In the current market, consumers value their hard earned dollars andwant to see results when they do decide to invest in a certain interface. Companies are Page 33 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Wanno different; they hire designers to see an increase in their profits. If a designer does notunderstand the connection between profitability and cost, there is no way they candeliver a successful design. Once again, the key is balance.VI. WEEK 7 JOURNAL This week was especially intriguing because it questioned the fine line betweeninnovation and tradition. I think that many designers have a difficult time understandingwhen it is acceptable to introduce a new design or process to the user interface andwhen to keep a traditional model instead. There are times when the user interface is soovercrowded with graphics and designs that it defeats the initial purpose of the design.As a user and master student of IT, I understand that a balance is necessary in order toachieve optimal user experience. A design cannot be so conventional that it is boring but cannot be so innovativethat no one understands how to use it. Furthermore, it must be understood that designis communication (Norman, 2002). Norman (2002, p.9) suggested that human-centereddesign consists of three elements: a) Conceptual models which make invisible functions visible by using feedback, as the effect of an interaction and explanations of its use. b) Constraints which are proactive measure to limit the choices of interaction and reduce human errors. c) Affordance is the perception and actual properties of the thing and suggests how the device can be possibly operated. Moreover, Norman (2004) presents an interesting criterion to determine whendesigners should stick to the old and when designers should take a risk and beinnovative. Norman argues that design choices such as single clicks on web pagesshould always be conventional while metaphors can be used creatively in order to fosteruser experiences. Designers should always keep up to standards in the design of user Page 34 of 39
  • HJ_IBRAHIM_Waninterfaces. For instance, nowadays, this is always accompanied by graphics thus hasbecome a convention. In order to ensure a user interface that is productive, innovative as well ascreative, designers have to use their judgment as well as their educational background.Perhaps, one way to evaluate it is by using a cognitive walkthrough (Dix et al., 2004).This evaluation technique focuses on the user’s knowledge and goals - by walkingthrough the tasks using the system, reviewing the actions that are necessary andattempting to predict how the users will behave. Designers should not view their jobs asone which is wholly creative nor wholly strict but a balance. They need to understandhow their competitors are designing sites and learn from popular interfaces whileexamining which interfaces are no longer relevant. Design is never black or white but amultitude of colors which change at different speeds. Page 35 of 39
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  • HJ_IBRAHIM_WanZakour, A. B. (2009). Information Technology Acceptance across Cultures In P. Zaphiris & C. S. Ang (Eds.), Human Computer Interaction: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications. New York: IGI Global. Page 39 of 39