Design in Telemedicine : Development and Implementation of Usable Computer Systems

Abstract: Designing computer systems that effectively support the user is the major goal within human-computer interaction. To achieve this, we must understand and master several tasks. This process must initially deal with the question of knowing what to develop and later, with the question of knowing how to design and develop the system. This view might seem off-target at first, since it does not explicitly mention the goals or functions of the system. However, more often than not, there is no objective goal to aim for that can be formally specified and used as a target criterion that will signal when we have designed an appropriate system. Instead, there is a large set of vague goals – some of which may last through the entire project and some that will not. It is therefore somewhat confounding that most of the current methods of systems development require that these goals are explicitly laid out, in order to steer development. For researchers in Human-Computer Interaction, the existence of many varying – and possibly conflicting goals – presents is a great challenge. The constructive main focus on producing usable systems is a matter of understanding this complex situation and knowing how to proceed from there. There are many existing approaches that can be used to carry out this complex development process. This thesis presents one approach, based on the notion that the elements that constitute a successful system are also a part of the solution. This thesis presents this approach as it is applied to the development of systems for computer-supported work in health care. The projected solution suggests that we need to focus more intently on active user involvement in iterative development that is significantly long-term. The traditional, rather narrow circle of focus that encompasses design, development and evaluation is not sufficient.