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The enabling states approach: designing usable telecommunications services

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4 Author(s)
Byerley, P. ; Standard Elektrik Lorenz, Pforzheim, Germany ; May, J. ; Whitefield, A. ; Denley, I.

Unless it is possible to use a broadband communications terminal for directly engaging in the tasks and activities which are important to the user (without the necessity of learning complex skills like those required to operate today's workstations) uptake will be restricted and usage will be inefficient. The enabling states approach, which distinguishes between the users' goal tasks, the states of the communication system which enable the performance of those tasks, and the enabling tasks required to create such enabling states, is described. The intention is to improve usability (and hence both uptake and usage) by designing interfaces that automatically identify and create the appropriate enabling states, allowing the user to concentrate on goal tasks rather than the enabling tasks. The approach is illustrated and discussed in the context of integrated broadband communication systems

Published in:

Selected Areas in Communications, IEEE Journal on  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

May 1991

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