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Visualization of Guidelines on Computer Networks to Support Processes of Design and Quality Control

Blomé, Mikael LU (2004)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

För att tillverka produkter av hög kvalitet, behöver industriella företag strukturera arbetet med hjälp av instruktioner och riktlinjer som är lätta att förstå och komma åt. Dessa samlas ofta i en eller flera pärmar eller på internt datornätverk, ofta som en del av den internationella kvalitetsstandarden ISO 9000. Men detta fungerar sällan som ett välfungerande stöd för personalen. Däremot så finns det exempel på hur riktlinjer kan presenteras eller visualiseras med hjälp av olika slags tekniker inom multimedia som t.ex. hyperlänkade och animerade bilder och illustrationer, dvs ett väl anpassat gränssnitt mellan personal och den information som ska presenteras. Avhandlingen har haft två syften:... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

För att tillverka produkter av hög kvalitet, behöver industriella företag strukturera arbetet med hjälp av instruktioner och riktlinjer som är lätta att förstå och komma åt. Dessa samlas ofta i en eller flera pärmar eller på internt datornätverk, ofta som en del av den internationella kvalitetsstandarden ISO 9000. Men detta fungerar sällan som ett välfungerande stöd för personalen. Däremot så finns det exempel på hur riktlinjer kan presenteras eller visualiseras med hjälp av olika slags tekniker inom multimedia som t.ex. hyperlänkade och animerade bilder och illustrationer, dvs ett väl anpassat gränssnitt mellan personal och den information som ska presenteras. Avhandlingen har haft två syften: Dels att utforska hur användbarhet av riktlinjer kan förbättras genom att förändra utformningen av riktlinjernas gränssnitt; dels att utforska hur visualiseringsprocessen kan stödja dialogen mellan användare som därmed görs delaktiga i utformningen av riktlinjer.



Resultaten från en första fältstudie visade att tre industriella företag föredrog ett system av riktlinjer som presenterar informationen utifrån en översiktsbild av den fysiska produktionslokalen. Information om processer och instruktioner representerades av hyperlänkade symboler inom eller vid sidan av lokalen. Resultaten från en andra fältstudie visade att industriella företag med kvalitetssystem certifierade enligt ISO 9000 skulle vilja visualisera informationen tydligare genom att minska omfattningen av text och istället använda mer bildmässiga beskrivningar, t.ex. flödesscheman och animeringar. Man upplevde även att ett kvalitetssystem på företagets interna datornätverk innebar eller skulle innebära en förbättring för att sprida och uppdatera informationen. I en tredje fältstudie genomförd i samarbete med Saab Automobil, ville företaget ersätta sitt konventionella informationssystem av ergonomiska designriktlinjer, och utforma ett nytt system baserat på interaktivitet och multimedia. Resultaten visade att man föredrog en översiktsbild av bilen där olika områden var länkade till vidare information. Den specifika informationen i riktlinjerna illustrerades med ikoner, bilder, animeringar och viss text. Vid jämförelse med det tidigare systemet visade det sig att arbetsuppgifter genomfördes både snabbare och med en positivare attityd i det nya systemet. En fjärde fältstudie genomfördes med en grupp företag inom GM koncernen. Studien visade på behovet av en tydlig process vid simuleringsarbete samt möjlighet att kunna dokumentera genererad kunskap. En prototyp av ett system för simuleringar och analyser av förarmiljöer, togs fram i samverkan med företagen och presenterades på ett datornätverk. Resultaten visade stora möjligheter till förbättring av kommunikationen både inom och mellan företagen, samt ökad kunskapsspridning och förbättrad kvalitet på utfört arbete.



Sammantaget visar studierna i avhandlingen på ett behov bland industriella företag av att visualisera riktlinjer med hjälp av multimedia och en ansats där användarna involveras i utformningen av dessa. En sådan ansats underlättar lärande och kommunikation samt har en potential att säkerställa en hög kvalitet på företagets processer och produkter. Dessutom tenderar användarnas attityd att bli mer positiv till den information som presenteras jämfört med tidigare. (Less)
Abstract
Industrial companies supply products intended to satisfy customers’ needs and requirements. To be competitive and to maintain good economic performance, efficient systems are needed to communicate information and exchange knowledge. Such systems are often referred to as quality systems as they intend to support development as well as standardized work regarding the quality of the product and increase satisfaction of the company’s customers and other stakeholders (employees, owners, sub-suppliers, society). Many companies try to structure and improve their quality systems by applying the international quality standard ISO 9000, which can result in extensive documentation. The guidelines and instructions of quality management systems are... (More)
Industrial companies supply products intended to satisfy customers’ needs and requirements. To be competitive and to maintain good economic performance, efficient systems are needed to communicate information and exchange knowledge. Such systems are often referred to as quality systems as they intend to support development as well as standardized work regarding the quality of the product and increase satisfaction of the company’s customers and other stakeholders (employees, owners, sub-suppliers, society). Many companies try to structure and improve their quality systems by applying the international quality standard ISO 9000, which can result in extensive documentation. The guidelines and instructions of quality management systems are traditionally documented and presented as paper documents, alternatively on an intranet (a company’s internal computer network) suitable for printouts. These however, do not correspond to some company’s requirements for usability in daily work and as support to interest and engage the personnel in development work. An assumption was that visualizing guidelines using different kinds of multimedia technologies such as hyperlinked and animated pictorial illustrations might be relevant to support quality control and design processes in industrial companies. Two objectives were set up: The first was to explore how the usability of guidelines could be improved by changing the interface design of the guidelines; The second was to explore how the visualization process of guidelines could support participative design by applying evaluations and interpretations in a dialogue form between two individuals or among a group of individuals. The methodology that has been used to generate research questions as well as methods is based on theories of action research and experiential learning. Various methods have been used and combined in order to collect information and to ensure the reliability of the findings based on it. Three industrial companies participated in a first case study. They had conventional quality systems, which they wanted to replace or improve. The companies set up design teams to establish principles for visualizations of their quality systems on their intranets. Cooperating with the author, the design teams created and evaluated computer supported prototypes. These prototypes were made available via the Internet and discussed within each design team. The teams exchanged ideas and comments to enhance their prototypes. The results showed that a quality system should be visualized by an overview of the physical production plant. Information about different processes and instructions are represented by hyperlinked symbols within or next to the plant layout. A second field study aimed to clarify how industrial companies with certified quality systems according to ISO 9001 visualized their guidelines and instructions of construction, production, and installation. The quality manager at each company evaluated the existing system and explained their needs of developing the system by means of computer supported visualization on their intranet. The information was collected through telephone interviews and on site visits. The results showed that the companies would like to improve the visualization of information by decreasing text and increasing pictorial descriptions, such as flowcharts and animations. They also experienced that a quality system on the companies’ intranets was or should be an enhancement in order to disseminate and update the information. A third case study performed in collaboration with Saab Automobile showed results that corresponded with the other studies. The company wanted to replace their conventional information system of ergonomic design guidelines for cars, and design a new system based on interactivity and multimedia. The results showed that a pictorial overview of the car with different areas hyperlinked to further information was preferred. The specific information in the ergonomic guidelines was illustrated with icons, pictures, animations, and some text. In a comparison with the conventional system, subjects performed working tasks faster and with a more positive attitude in the new system. A fourth case study was performed within the GM company group, which showed the need of a formalized working process throughout work with human simulation tools as well as possibilities to document the information generated. A human simulation system prototype was modeled in collaboration with the companies and was presented on an intranet. The results indicated a great potential to enhance the communication within and between the companies, increased accessibility to knowledge, and increased quality on performed work. To summarize, the studies in this thesis show a need among industrial companies to visualize guidelines in information and quality systems by means of multimedia and an interactive design process. Such an approach supports knowledge acquisition and communication, and has a potential to ensure high quality in a company’s processes and products. Furthermore, the users’ attitudes tend to become more positive to the information presented compared to a conventional system. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Professor Smeds, Riitta, Finland
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Systems engineering, computer technology, Data- och systemvetenskap, Visualization., Vehicle design, Quality control, Participation, Intranet, Instructions, ISO 9000, Industrial companies, Guidelines, Computer networks, Ergonomics
pages
146 pages
publisher
Department of Design Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University
defense location
Ingvar Kamprad Design Center, Lund Institute of Technology
defense date
2004-03-19 10:15
ISSN
1650-9773
ISBN
91-628-5987-0
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
85411acb-a82d-45e6-bbdf-1e0e8faf8037 (old id 466742)
date added to LUP
2007-09-06 13:02:15
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:52
@phdthesis{85411acb-a82d-45e6-bbdf-1e0e8faf8037,
  abstract     = {Industrial companies supply products intended to satisfy customers’ needs and requirements. To be competitive and to maintain good economic performance, efficient systems are needed to communicate information and exchange knowledge. Such systems are often referred to as quality systems as they intend to support development as well as standardized work regarding the quality of the product and increase satisfaction of the company’s customers and other stakeholders (employees, owners, sub-suppliers, society). Many companies try to structure and improve their quality systems by applying the international quality standard ISO 9000, which can result in extensive documentation. The guidelines and instructions of quality management systems are traditionally documented and presented as paper documents, alternatively on an intranet (a company’s internal computer network) suitable for printouts. These however, do not correspond to some company’s requirements for usability in daily work and as support to interest and engage the personnel in development work. An assumption was that visualizing guidelines using different kinds of multimedia technologies such as hyperlinked and animated pictorial illustrations might be relevant to support quality control and design processes in industrial companies. Two objectives were set up: The first was to explore how the usability of guidelines could be improved by changing the interface design of the guidelines; The second was to explore how the visualization process of guidelines could support participative design by applying evaluations and interpretations in a dialogue form between two individuals or among a group of individuals. The methodology that has been used to generate research questions as well as methods is based on theories of action research and experiential learning. Various methods have been used and combined in order to collect information and to ensure the reliability of the findings based on it. Three industrial companies participated in a first case study. They had conventional quality systems, which they wanted to replace or improve. The companies set up design teams to establish principles for visualizations of their quality systems on their intranets. Cooperating with the author, the design teams created and evaluated computer supported prototypes. These prototypes were made available via the Internet and discussed within each design team. The teams exchanged ideas and comments to enhance their prototypes. The results showed that a quality system should be visualized by an overview of the physical production plant. Information about different processes and instructions are represented by hyperlinked symbols within or next to the plant layout. A second field study aimed to clarify how industrial companies with certified quality systems according to ISO 9001 visualized their guidelines and instructions of construction, production, and installation. The quality manager at each company evaluated the existing system and explained their needs of developing the system by means of computer supported visualization on their intranet. The information was collected through telephone interviews and on site visits. The results showed that the companies would like to improve the visualization of information by decreasing text and increasing pictorial descriptions, such as flowcharts and animations. They also experienced that a quality system on the companies’ intranets was or should be an enhancement in order to disseminate and update the information. A third case study performed in collaboration with Saab Automobile showed results that corresponded with the other studies. The company wanted to replace their conventional information system of ergonomic design guidelines for cars, and design a new system based on interactivity and multimedia. The results showed that a pictorial overview of the car with different areas hyperlinked to further information was preferred. The specific information in the ergonomic guidelines was illustrated with icons, pictures, animations, and some text. In a comparison with the conventional system, subjects performed working tasks faster and with a more positive attitude in the new system. A fourth case study was performed within the GM company group, which showed the need of a formalized working process throughout work with human simulation tools as well as possibilities to document the information generated. A human simulation system prototype was modeled in collaboration with the companies and was presented on an intranet. The results indicated a great potential to enhance the communication within and between the companies, increased accessibility to knowledge, and increased quality on performed work. To summarize, the studies in this thesis show a need among industrial companies to visualize guidelines in information and quality systems by means of multimedia and an interactive design process. Such an approach supports knowledge acquisition and communication, and has a potential to ensure high quality in a company’s processes and products. Furthermore, the users’ attitudes tend to become more positive to the information presented compared to a conventional system.},
  author       = {Blomé, Mikael},
  isbn         = {91-628-5987-0},
  issn         = {1650-9773},
  keyword      = {Systems engineering,computer technology,Data- och systemvetenskap,Visualization.,Vehicle design,Quality control,Participation,Intranet,Instructions,ISO 9000,Industrial companies,Guidelines,Computer networks,Ergonomics},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {146},
  publisher    = {Department of Design Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Visualization of Guidelines on Computer Networks to Support Processes of Design and Quality Control},
  year         = {2004},
}