Bild på person vid dator

Design of e-services for everyone

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The use of e-services within commerce, contacts with authorities and social relations has grown extensively in the last few years. More and more people with different backgrounds, of different ages and with varying degrees of pre-knowledge now use e-services.

Going online is no longer restricted to an exclusive group - a computer is rather in everyone’s possession. This explosion in the use of computers has brought many challenges regarding design. This is partly due to the decision made by the Swedish Parliament, that Sweden should be accessible by the year 2010. The decision means, in effect, that everyone will have the same opportunities to use e-services regardless of background, pre-knowledge, age or other conditions.

Previously, internet users have been regarded as a homogenous group - the designers haven’t taken into account that the users have different possibilities to interact with e-services. In this project we aim to develop design principles that support making e-services accessible to everyone. Our view on e-services is that they are instruments that mediate communication between two operators. The proposed design principles will be based on an action-oriented perspective that adjusts itself to communicative needs and behaviour. The communicative needs aim is to answer the question: “Can I do what I please?”, while communicative behaviour aim is to answer the question: “How can I do what I please?”

The primary purpose is to generate new knowledge in the shape of user or consumer-oriented design principles. The target-group for this knowledge is designers and evaluators of e-services. The secondary purpose is to present results from several evaluations of existing e-services. Our hope is that these evaluation results will function as a base for a redesign of e-services.