How do we measure user satisfaction?

8 Feb

While preparing a presentation on the Technology Acceptance Model for this weeks class I thought about the topic of IS quality and how a framework or a model like the Technology Acceptance Model could enable a management team to successfully gauge the quality of their Information Systems. [1]

The Technology Acceptance Model places much emphasis on the perceived ease of use and the perceived usefulness of a system. These two factors would have a huge impact on the success of a new or existing system in an organisation. Ultimately, if the staff are able to efficiently use the system and if they deem the system to be useful then their work will be of a higher quality than if they felt hampered by the system they were using.

The blogger d112221671 stated in their blog [2] that quality is determined by whether it matches the user requirements or not. After a system meets the minimum user requirements then factors such as ease of use and system usefulness become more pressing issues. One thing to remember when talking about the user of Information Systems is that what one user finds easy to use and accessible could be perceived as complicated and hard to use by another user. An individuals perception has a huge influence on how they use a system and as we see with models like the TAM  there are many external variables which can influence an individuals perception of a system.

User satisfaction is a difficult, intangible and elusive concept to define. But a definition is exactly what is neededif it is to be used to provide meaningful research about a system’s performance and a user’s experience of it.” –[3]

When measuring IS Quality user satisfaction is one of the key factors which can make the difference between a successfully implemented system and an unsuccessful one. Any framework for measuring and quantifying IS Quality should include some construct which would allow management to efficiently measure the user satisfaction of the system they are currently running or the system they are planning on implementing. According to research completed by Jillian R Griffiths & Frances Johnson shows that there is no single construct on which we can measure user satisfaction of a system. [4] As mentioned previously perception and personal ideas have a huge impact on whether a user is satisfied with a system or not. It is because of this reason that measuring user satisfaction is such an issue for management teams.

Blogger d112221671 made note of Braa’s three perspectives through which we can view IS quality. Technical quality, use quality and organizational quality. Braa also made the point that IS will be of a high quality when it is adapted to the organisation it is serving.

In my opinion perceived ease of use & perceived usefulness are key factors in whether a user is content with a system or not, and would be key dimensions in any framework designed to measure the quality of an Information System.  Braa’s three perspectives along with the two aforementioned factors could be the basis for a comprehensive quantitative framework for IS quality that could be used by management teams in industry.






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