Chapter 9

A Spreadsheet-Based Tool for Simple Cost–Benefit Analyses of HSI Contributions During Software Application Development

Deborah J. Mayhew

9.1 Introduction

One fundamental type of human systems integration (HSI) involves providing software applications to individual users to assist them in some aspect of performing their jobs. In this case, the HSI issue may be optimizing the productivity of the trained and experienced user (designing for “ease-of-use” or efficiency) or optimizing the ability of the new or casual user to get up to speed quickly with or without training (designing for “ease-of-learning”), or both.

Examples from the industrial and commercial context (see Chapter 2 in this volume) might include:

  • Providing a database application of customer information (the system) to customer service representatives (the humans) in a credit card or insurance company to help them handle customer queries and requests (in this case, ease-of-use or productivity is the primary HSI issue)
  • Providing subscribers of a health plan (the humans) with a secure Web site (the system) for accessing information about their benefits and medical records, as well as other services, such as e-mail access to health-care providers (in this case, ease-of-learning and remembering is the primary HSI issue)
  • Providing software product users (the humans) with Web-based services (the system) for troubleshooting and updating their software products, purchasing product-related services, and networking with ...

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