Jeeves : a blocks-based approach to end-user development of experience sampling apps
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Professional programmers are signiﬁcantly outnumbered by end-users of software, and cannot possibly predict the diverse and dynamic needs of user groups in advance. This thesis is concerned with the provision of an end-user development (EUD) approach, allowing end-users to independently create and modify their own software. EUD activities are particularly applicable to the work practices of psychology researchers and clinicians, who are increasingly dependent on software for assessment of participants and patients, but must also depend on developers to realise their requirements. This thesis targets these professionals, with an EUD solution to creating assessment software. The Experience Sampling Method (ESM) is one such means of assessment that takes place in participants’ everyday lives. Through regular completion of subjective self-reports, participants provide rich detail of their ongoing physical and emotional well-being. However, lack of engagement with such studies remains a prevalent issue. This thesis investigates features for maximising engagement with experience sampling smartphone apps. Such apps are becoming accepted as standard practice for remote assessment, but researchers are stiﬂed by the complexity and cost of implementation. Moreover, existing EUD tools are insufﬁcient for development of ESM apps that include engaging features. This thesis presents the development of Jeeves, an EUD tool with a blocks-based programming paradigm that empowers non-programmers to rapidly develop tailored, context-sensitive ESM apps. The adoption of Jeeves is contingent on a number of factors, including its ease-of-use, real-world utility, and organisational conditions. Failure to incorporate the necessary functionality pertaining to these factors into Jeeves will lead to abandonment. This thesis is concerned with establishing the usability, utility, and external factors necessary for adoption of Jeeves. Further, Jeeves is evaluated with respect to these factors through a series of rigorous studies from a range of application domains.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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