Requirements Engineering

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 57–66 | Cite as

An exploratory study into whether to or not to include users in the development of industrial hypermedia applications

  • Devendra FakunEmail author
  • Richard M. Greenough
Original Article


While there is agreement among both information system (IS) practitioners and IS researchers as to the value of user participation in IS development, the correlation between user participation and actual use or user satisfaction (surrogate measures of IS success) has been equivocal. A possible reason for the contradictory findings could be that user participation is being utilised, regardless of the levels of complexity of either the system or the task. This paper describes two exploratory case studies to test this hypothesis. Industrial hypermedia applications (IHA) were developed and qualitative data collected, through usability trials, to see the effect of user participation on user perception (extrinsic motivations of use) of the system, rather than IS success. The findings show that users should participate in the development when both the IS and the task are complex. On the other hand, when both the system and the task are not complex, user participation can be kept to a minimum. Furthermore, it is recommended that user participation should not be evaluated against IS success, but against system features.


Hypermedia applications System complexity Task complexity Technology acceptance model User-IS relationship User participation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SIMMOEcole Nationale Supérieur des Mines de St-EtienneSt-Etienne Cedex 2France
  2. 2.SIMS, Manufacturing Systems DepartmentCranfield UniversityBedsUK

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