The 360-Degree Temporal Benefits Model Reimagines Value-Based Assessment of User-Centred Design Services
A Review of:
Kautonen, H., & Nieminen, M. (2018). Conceptualising benefits of user-centred design for digital library services. LIBER Quarterly, 28(1), 1-34. https://doi.org/10.18352/lq.10231
Objectives – The study has two central objectives: to examine the conceptual elements of evaluating and managing user-centred design (UCD) performance in library settings; and to propose a new framework, the 360-Degree Temporal Benefits Model (360°TB Model), that assesses value-based evaluation of UCD performance in libraries.
Design – Data collection and analysis were conducted through literature reviews, case studies, semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, and reviews of digital library service documents.
Setting – Two digital library service environments in Finland that use UCD approaches: one located at the National Digital Library and the other at a medium-sized special library.
Subjects – There were 17 participants representing internal and external stakeholder groups such as digital service designers, end-users, and consumer organizations.
Method – Through a literature review, the authors studied several topics related to UCD services including digital services, design management, public value frameworks, and services. They examined literature from two theoretical perspectives: 1) performance management, which explains why and how performance evaluation is necessary for public services, and 2) temporality, the concept of time in relation to service provision. This lens allowed the authors to identify existing knowledge gaps in professional literature and define key concepts. The literature review informed the framework for the 360°TB Model.
Two digital library settings tested the model and served as case studies in the paper. Data collection activities in this phase included reviews of existing project documentation and semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, at which time participants were also asked to complete an online questionnaire. The authors recorded and transcribed the interviews and combined these results with comments derived from questionnaires. Finally, participants received the data collected from their interview sessions and were asked to review and validate their answers.
Main Results – The most significant result is the development of the 360°TB Model. The framework combines three components to evaluate UCD design: the identification of stakeholders; the benefits of UCD services; and the temporal phases (e.g., process-time, use time, and future service provisions) of UCD design efforts and outcomes. The authors summarize the relationship between the components of the framework as follows: “a Stakeholder anticipates Benefits of the design in different Phases” (p. 8).
Regarding the case studies, the authors captured a range of diverse opinions through semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. Participants in Case 1 selected a range of benefits and there was little consistency in responses. However, two-thirds of participants in Case 2 selected quality of services as the most desirable benefit of UCD, while the remaining one-third selected options such as process time and societal problem solving.
The participants stated that the 360°TB Model provided authority in matters of design goals. It was challenging to capture temporality in design performance because it is not easy to specify goals or state the anticipated benefits of design activities in library settings. This is because the impact of design is indirect and cannot be easily quantified or isolated from the larger context of the library environment. The model provides a method to justify managerial choices regarding UCD and frame service changes around phases of development (e.g., process-time, use-time, and future service provisions).
Conclusion – The 360°TB Model pushes assessment activities beyond organization-centric evaluations and into intra-organizational and polycentric perspectives. It reaches beyond the boundaries of the institution to capture diverse viewpoints and service needs of external stakeholders. Finally, the 360°TB Model bridges the theoretical gap between Public Value frameworks and real-world information environments through the use of three key concepts: stakeholders, benefits, and phases.
Copyright (c) 2018 Melissa Goertzen
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