Usability and database search at the Swedish Employment Service
In this paper we report on a large-scale developmental project (AIS-95, 12,000 users) at the Swedish Labor Market Administration. The project is analyzed from the point of view of achieving good effective productivity in the final work system. Developmental projects of large size pose special problems in this respect. The aim of the project was to replace the current database application system (AF-90, 8000 users) with an improved system. As a background, we first analyzed the problems the employees have when using the current system (AF-90) from the perspectives of functionality, usability and information needs. No systematic attempt was made in the development project to integrate knowledge about users' problems with the AF-90 project into the AIS-95 project. Furthermore, different forms of user participation were tried in the project but still many users reported feeling a lack of influence on the project. Conclusions are given with respect to how some of the deficiencies found in the present project might be avoided in future large-scale projects.
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