Information Tasks: Toward a User-Centered Approach to Information Systems / Allen (1996)

Citation - Allen, B. (1996). Information Tasks: Toward a User-Centered Approach to Information Systems. Orlando, FL, USA: Academic Press.

Keyword - user-centered design, information system, information task

本書提出一資訊系統設計的方法論。基於「解題觀點(problem-solving perspective)」,作者在本書中主張從「以內容為主(content-centered)」轉向「以使用者為主(user-centered)」的資訊系統設計方法。提出由了解使用者的資訊需求資訊任務為主來進行資訊系統設計(電腦資訊系統)。


Definitons of information

  • information: 依據 Buckland1)對資訊定義的分類,作者認為資訊是一種程序(information-as-process)。資訊定義為:
    “The process in which an informant's cognitive structures are encoded and transmitted to an information seeker, who perceives the coded messages, interprets them, and learns from them.”(p.3)

Information system for problem-solving 解決問題導向的資訊系統

“This book takes a problem-solving approach to the process of being informed. In other worlds, it considers the functional interactions of the components of the information system as defining a single function: problem solving.” (p.11)

一個為了準備出門的人,打開電視觀看氣象預報。其中看氣象預報資訊是解決問題的資訊活動(information seeking),而在等待氣象預報節目播出的空檔中獲得的汽車促銷廣告資訊,則非本書關注的資訊活動(information received in passing)。

User-centered information system design

Allen Dillon 2) Olson & Olson 3) Mahling 4)
Need analysis Stakeholder identification Analyze the goal
User analysis
Task analysis Task analysis Activities
potential problems
Resources analysis - current technologies
- Specification
User modeling - how to meet requirements; costs; domain issues; potential differences
Designing for usability Prototyping

information task


  • 一樣是從事資訊系統研究,Allen 並不同意 Bucklnad 提出的「資訊為事物(information-as-thing)」觀點。其釐清的說法為:
“The position taken here is that it is the process that is the truly essential aspect of information. People inform themselves or are informed. In doing so, they may make use of things such as books or databases, and they may acquire knowledge, but the things they use are information things precisely because they are used in the process of informing or becoming informed. It is the underlying process that distinguishes and information thing form all other things.” (p.2-3)
Buckland, M. K. (1991). Information as thing. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 42(5), 351.
Dillon, 1994
Olson & Olson, 1991
Mahling, 1994