IS Quality as Determined by the User

4 Feb

As mentioned in my last post quality is often determined by whether it matches the user requirements and so in this post I will go further into the area from the perspective of a user of an IS. The user is a vital part of any IS [2] as the IS is there to fulfil the information needs of its users [2]. The needs of the users will outline the requirements of the IS.

A user is described as a person who seeks information and then uses that information that they sought [2].

While a successful IS may not necessarily always be of good quality most good quality IS will be a success one as the high quality of the system will often be determined by meeting the user’s expectations. As stated by Braa that if there is high correspondence between expectations and IS (or product in Braa’s case) while when there is low correspondence this will usually be an indication of low quality [1]. Depending on the variety of expectations the actual experience of quality will differ between the users. Often if the users are involved in the design of the IS then the user expectations will be easier to meet and so the quality of the IS may be higher even if technically it is not very sophisticated however as user requirements change if the IS stays static this can diminish the quality of the IS from the users perspective even if it technically it is still the exact same [1].

In Braa’s paper it is pointed out that Juran (79) uses a “fitness for purpose” definition for quality and Kitchenham (89) defined quality as a “fitness for needs” [1]. It is from these definitions we see it as a very subjective issue and that quality comes from the perspective of the end users of their expected and actual experiences of using the information system [1]. It is also important to bear in mind that each user will have different information needs depending on their roles and functions [2].

Whether an information system is of high quality may be dependent upon whose point of view is being used to measure it[1]. Braa suggested three perspectives that it may be possible to view IS quality from including technical quality, use quality and organizational quality[1]. Braa also points out that Vidgen et al (93) while emphasized use in an organizational context they didn’t use the organizational perspective for IS quality [1].

While Vidgen didn’t use the organization perspective it is an alternative user where quality is assess from the point of view of the organization. According to Baa it will be of high quality from an organisational perspective when it is well “adapted to the organisation” [1].

According to Prasad needs and users should become the focus of an IS in order to provide better information as according to him “one man’s information is another man’s noise”[2].


[1] Beyond Formal Quality in Information Systems Design by Kirstin Braa available at

[2] Information needs and users by DR H N Prasad available at

2 Responses to “IS Quality as Determined by the User”


  1. Braa’s Framework on IS Quality and Design. « So Opinionated … - February 4, 2013

    […] in this topic and reflected in a way how the user may determine the quality as mentioned in my last post but it may also be an area that I will explore further in this […]

  2. Andersson & Eriksson’s Framework for IS Quality Models « So Opinionated … - February 8, 2013

    […] a static generally acceptable quality model for information systems”. This is in line with a previous blog  where I state different users of the final IS will have different requirements for the IS and […]

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