Qualitative techniques for evaluating enterprise resource planning (ERP) user interfaces

  • Brenda Scholtz, Charmain Cilliers, André Calitz
  • January 2010, ACM (Association for Computing Machinery)
  • DOI: 10.1145/1899503.1899535

What is it about?

Studies have recommended usability criteria for evaluating Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. However these criteria do not provide sufficient qualitative information regarding the behaviour of users when interacting with the user interface of these systems. A triangulation technique, including the use of time diaries, can be used in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research for providing additional qualitative data that cannot be accurately collected by experimental or even observation means alone. Limited studies have been performed on the use of time diaries in a triangulation approach as an HCI research method for the evaluation of the usability of ERP systems. This paper reports on a case study where electronic time diaries were used in conjunction with other HCI research methods, namely, surveys and usability questionnaires, in order to evaluate the usability of an ERP system. The results of the study show that a triangulation technique including the use of time diaries is a rich and useful method that allows more flexibility for respondents and can be used to help understand user behaviour when interacting with ERP systems. A thematic analysis of the qualitative data collected from the time diaries validated the quantitative data and highlighted common problem areas encountered during typical tasks performed with the ERP system. An improved understanding of user behaviour enabled the redesign of the tasks performed during the ERP learning process and could provide guidance to ERP designers for improving the usability and ease of learning of ERP systems.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Brenda Scholtz and Brenda Scholtz

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