Human Centred Interface Design: How Information can be Presented to Increase Productivity Within the Call Centre Industry.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This project focuses on incorporating key human-centred interface design methods and guidelines into the development of web pages used regularly by call centre workers within the insurance industry. The guidelines applied to the web pages include the use of colour, consistency, layout, the grouping of items and progressive disclosure. The aim of this project is to test whether these specific design principles can improve productivity. The reason for this is due to the increased complexity of company intranets that, overall, have less consideration for the end users (i.e. the employees) and greater consideration toward the inclusion of certain features to achieve specific goals. As a result, employees are less productive due to the time taken to perform simple tasks which can ultimately lead to a drop in company profits. This project focuses specifically on the effects of progressive disclosure by using a repeated measures experiment followed by an interview to gain user feedback. As part of the experiment, participants were asked to interact with two separate web pages whilst answering a set of insurance based questions to determine which web page lead to greater productivity. One web page made use of progressive disclosure whilst the other did not however, both web pages were otherwise identical and included key design principles. To measure productivity, participants were timed based on how quickly they could answer the questions and the times noted were then compared. Once the experiment was completed, participants took part in an interview regarding the overall design and usability of each web page. Based on the experimental results, it was found that the web page that included progressive disclosure lead to greater productivity. Having said this, the low confidence level, small sample size and three unusual sets of data could have caused this result. This is believed to the case as results from the interview found that 68% of participants preferred the web page that did not include progressive disclosure and 16% liked both web pages equally. Further interview results found that participants reacted well to other design elements and felt that they helped them find information quickly. These elements included the use of green and red colours to represent what was covered, the layout, the consistency between the two pages and the grouping of similar information with clear headings. Whilst these design elements were successful, progressive disclosure was not. These results are significant because they highlight the importance of user involvement and the importance of looking at each website on an individual basis as some design elements may work well for one website but the same principles cannot necessarily be applied to another.
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