The Influence of Context and Stress on the Use of Network Diagnostics Systems

Klauser, Bruno and Weisskopf, Nadja (2010) The Influence of Context and Stress on the Use of Network Diagnostics Systems. Masters thesis, HSR Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil.

HCID_Smartcallhome_Doc_20100122f-public.pdf - Supplemental Material

Download (68MB) | Preview


The purpose of this study is to analyze the influence of context and perceived stress on the use of Cisco’s Smart Call Home web application. Smart Call Home is a network diagnostic system based on a combination of agents embedded within the network and post-processing of messages on the backend. The main contribution of this work is the identification of relevant stressors and contributing factors specific to the respective contexts of use as well as recommendations for supporting context aspects as well as for reinforcing positive and mitigating negative effects. Mainly qualitative, User Centered Design (UCD) methodology such as a HCI Expert Review, Contextual Inquiry or Prototyping, is utilized in this study. While UCD and project management methodology is based on well known approaches, taking into account stress related aspects requires a modified and improvised adaptation of methods. The application of each method is explained in detail, showing the relevance, the exact implementation and the outcome. The work items and artifacts of the applied methods cover the principal components of human-machine interaction – user, context, system and task, a model defined by Shackel and Richardson. Four archetypal users are revealed, which mainly differ in job roles, skills and workplace. In this regard also four distinct contexts result from the analysis, mainly varying in working conditions, tools available and the ambience. Perceived stress as well as contributing stressors are identified and categorized. Potential Smart Call Home users mention distractions from other team colleagues, too much irrelevant data or not enough detail as some of the main contributing factors. The majority of stressors are common between users. Smart Call Home is analyzed and compared against usability heuristics and against findings from requirements engineering and interaction design artifacts. Possible advancements to Smart Call Home are identified in all areas defined by Theo Mandel: structure, presentation and behavior. The authors therefore recommend to adjust and augment the current Smart Call Home web application to address specific characteristics of the contexts, to mitigate the effects of stress and possibly also to increase the focus on wants and needs of the archetypal users. The user’s information retrieval can be simplified by providing overall search functionality and a consolidated overview of key information. Offering mobile use of Smart Call Home does justice to the varying workplace characteristics. Even small additions such as breadcrumb navigation can increase the user’s confidence and efficiency. Thinking of the improved user experience and satisfaction motivates and inspires to enhance Smart Call Home, based on the findings and recommendations.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: Topics > HCI Design
Brands > Cisco
Divisions: Master of Advanced Studies in Human Computer Interaction Design
Weisskopf, NadjaUNSPECIFIED
Thesis advisorUhr, MarcelUNSPECIFIED
Funders: Cisco
Depositing User: HSR Deposit User
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2012 07:56
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2012 09:35

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item