Information Systems Quality – Design

8 Feb

In this blog I wanted to outline two very important approaches to the design process, both are very successful at leading developers to better design and information system quality. They are 1) Design Science 2) Human-Computer Interaction;

Design Science:

A paper by A. Hevner et al. called ‘Design Science in Information Systems Research’ published in the MIS Quarterly in 2004 has been an excellent source for me when researching this topic. The paper describes design science essentially as a problem solving tool, if the design process wasn’t part of IS development process then the problems would undoubtedly leek into the system and a of course a fall in quality. The paper recommends following a seven step guideline to avoid your system leaking problems, see the figure below.  Hevner et al, outlines why they conducted their research;

 “Our purpose for establishing these seven guidelines is to assist researchers, reviewers, editors, and readers to understand the requirements for effective design-science research.”[1]

 They also recommend researchers and developers to use their creative skills and best judgement to determine when and how to apple these seven guidelines.


Within the paper the authors propose to two fundamental questions for design science, 1) What utility does the new artefact provide? 2) What demonstrates that utility? I believe that these questions will prove very useful in future research into the area of design implantation.

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI):

Another well published design process method is Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), this method places the design in the middle and asks what tasks, technology and human interaction will my system need to be able to handle, see the diagram below. This HCI method factors in organisational and social issues as well by distributing the factors amongst the three inputs. [2][3][4]


Within this process in the user interface development process, this is another guideline to design, then, evaluate and finally execute your idea or system. This includes using storyboards, proposals and prototypes; each test/re-test phase eliminates errors and leads to better design and in turn better quality. There is a sense of cyclical process within HCI, at every stage you design, prototype and finally evaluate. Only when you are happy then should you move onto the next development stage.


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