Linking users' views with utilization processes in the evaluation of interactive software

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Taking the users' viewpoints into account in evaluation is increasingly recommended. The rationale and methods of user-oriented approaches have been described in theoretical papers. Less often reported are critical and empirical observations on how evaluators should interpret users' views. In the case of information technology, users' views may b gathered for the purpose of both evaluation and development. This double function is best served when a theory-driven framework clarifies the processes underlying the utilization of technology. This article delves into empirical results stemming from an evaluation of an interactive software designed to support health promotion planning. The authors contend that users' viewpoints should be exploited in a meaningful manner, one that goes beyond a summation of the pros and cons and that explains why and how users make use of technology.

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