After several years of dedicated research and development, the SysTemutvecklingsmetodeR för dIigital Arbetsmiljö (STRIA) project is coming close. Led by Professor Åsa Cajander, working with Dr Magdalena Stadin and Professor Marta Larusdottir, this project has been a pioneering effort to address the critical issue of digital workplace health and usability in IT systems. The project was funded by AFA.

The Problem
In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, many IT systems fail to support efficient work processes, ultimately contributing to health issues within organizations. Research has highlighted a lack of focus on workplace health in current system development practices. There’s also a shortage of practical methods for incorporating a workplace health perspective into digitalization efforts.

The Mission
The STRIA project aimed to collaborate with IT developers to create effective and practical methods for designing sustainable digital work environments. This endeavor included promoting these methods, developing educational materials, and advocating for their adoption.

The Three Focus Methods
The project focused on three key methodologies:

Contextual Think Aloud Method: This method involves users verbalizing their thought processes while interacting with software, enabling evaluators to gain insights into user thinking.
Vision Seminars: Involving a group of evaluators who individually assess software using predefined heuristics, this method helps identify usability problems.
Contextual Personas Method: Originally introduced by Cooper (2004), this method creates hypothetical archetypes of real users, allowing for more targeted and empathetic system design.

Project Phases
The project followed a structured plan, as outlined in Figure 1, which included:

  1. Understanding Digital Workplace: Assessing challenges related to different IT systems and digital workplaces in healthcare and administrative settings.
  2. Developing System Development Methods: Crafting new methods for system development based on insights from previous phases.
  3. Creating Educational Materials: Developing materials to teach developers how to apply these methods effectively.
  4. Evaluation and Refinement: Testing and refining the methods with IT developers and gathering feedback.
  5. Dissemination of Results: Publishing research findings, articles, and blog posts to share the knowledge with the wider community.

As the STRIA project concludes, it leaves a legacy of knowledge, recommendations, and methodologies for assessing digital workplace aspects. The project’s findings has been shared through academic publications, industry-focused journals, conferences, blogs, and educational programs. Stay tuned for the final report and further updates on this important work.