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New Doctor on the block

Darelle van Greunen sucessfully completed her PhD under the supervision of Prof Paula Kotze and Prof Alta van der Merwe.

We just heard the good news ...

After much hard work we can now congratulate our new PhD on the block. Congratulations to Darelle van Greunen that was also promoted at NMMU to Associate Professor from 1 January 2010.

The following is the abstract from Darelle's thesis, A framework for the User Interface Design of Business Process Management Tools.

Business process management (BPM) tools are a complex category of enterprise software which offers many layers of functionality to produce effective and optimized business processes. One of the most important components of successful business processes, however, is the group of users.  That means those people who interact with the workflows at various points to enable a certain task or objective to be completed. When user interface design complements how the users think and learn, accommodates their physical needs, and meets their expectations for comfort and convenience, the interaction of human and machine is more productive.  Good user interface design has considerable benefits. This study focused on the user interface design of business process management tools with a specific focus on the user experience in using the tool to complete the tasks in support of the business processes.  The study was divided into three research sub-questions, where the first focused on the identification of factors that have an impact on the user experience of BPM tools.  The second on the impact of critical user experience factors on BPM user tasks and the last on the impact of critical user experience factors on user interface design of BPM tools to support business processes. For the first research question, the identification of factors, focus groups and questionnaires were used for data collection. It was necessary to develop issues for discussion in the focus groups.  These were derived from literature and confirmed with industry participants. For the second research question, which focused on the impact of critical user experience factors on user tasks, user observations and personal interviews were conducted in two centres in South Africa. Lastly, for the third research question on the impact of critical user experience factors on user interface design of BPM tools, data triangulation was used to derive a framework for the user interface design of BPM tools.  The framework was used to re-design and evaluate prototype BPM tool interfaces.

 The conclusion after the investigation of the three research questions was that a framework for the user interface design of BPM tools was needed.  The proposed framework was used to successfully design, re-design and evaluate BPM tools.

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