chapter  7
40 Pages

User-Centered Design of Information Technology

Increasingly, terms such as Easy to use, User-friendly, Usable, and similar others, pervade the way in which

systems are described in their marketing to users and organizations. While the use of these terms in the

advertizing and sales vernacular are becoming more and more (if not already) cliche´, the attention which

they are paid is not unsubstantiated. In a business sense, it is intuitive — if the systems in place are not

accepted by the employees, or if they are inefficient, ineffective, and inconsistent with the organization’s

goals, then the financial consequences can be devastating. Poor design can take a tremendous toll on pro-

ductivity and employee satisfaction as well as increase the costs of maintenance. Attention must be paid

to the user interface to maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace (Shneiderman, 1998).