Uppsala University Department of Information Technology

Licentiate thesis 2005-008

Usable IT Systems for Mobile Work

Niklas Johansson

9 December 2005

Abstract:
Today, mobile technology is making its entry into working life within all sorts of occupations. When the purpose of the technology is to support mo-bile work, new requirements appear - for both the technology itself and for the emerging new work processes - as a result of these new conditions. Con-sequently, the introduction of a new IT system will affect the organisation and the way work is performed. This thesis addresses these changes in work processes and ways to provide a supporting IT system. An underlying com-ponent of my research work is the belief that the personnel from the organi-sation itself must participate in a large extent when developing new work processes and when designing supporting IT systems, since they will be us-ing the IT system as a tool in their future work practice. To understand the nature of mobility in a work context and how it affects usability in IT systems, I have initiated studies of the area where mobile work is supported by technology. Important characteristics have been found that affect mobile work. My research work has concerned traditional profes-sions, primarily professions within mobile healthcare. An exhaustive study of how to design new work processes within the area of home care of the elderly has been carried out, accompanied by field studies of mobile work within the mobile healthcare sector. The results have been described in terms of aspects of future work processes that are effective and sustainable. Moreover, important characteristics of mobile technology that support this kind of mobile work have been identified. The two perspectives are then merged, in order to design usable IT systems for mobile work.

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Uppsala Universitet