Involving users in expert system development
Berry, D. C. (1994) Involving users in expert system development. Expert Systems: the Journal of Knowledge Engineering, 11 (1). pp. 23-28. ISSN 0266-4720
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0394.1994.tb00314.x
The ultimate criterion of success for interactive expert systems is that they will be used, and used to effect, by individuals other than the system developers. A key ingredient of success in most systems is involving users in the specification and development of systems as they are being built. However, until recently, system designers have paid little attention to ascertaining user needs and to developing systems with corresponding functionality and appropriate interfaces to match those requirements. Although the situation is beginning to change, many developers do not know how to go about involving users, or else tackle the problem in an inadequate way. This paper discusses the need for user involvement and considers why many developers are still not involving users in an optimal way. It looks at the different ways in which users can be involved in the development process and describes how to select appropriate techniques and methods for studying users. Finally, it discusses some of the problems inherent in involving users in expert system development, and recommends an approach which incorporates both ethnographic analysis and formal user testing.