NetVista™ is an integrated suite of clients and servers supporting Internet access for students and teachers in kindergarten through 12th-grade schools. Developed by a small team of IBM researchers, NetVista is a prime example of using an object-oriented framework to support user-centered design and to accommodate Internet-paced changes in network infrastructure, functionality, and user expectations. In this paper, we describe salient aspects of NetVista's design and development and its evolution from research project to product. In particular, we discuss the factors supporting a sustained focus on end users over the life of the project, the object-oriented framework underlying NetVista, and the role of this framework in accommodating both evolutionary and radical changes to the design of the user interface and the underlying technical infrastructure.
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