University of Twente Student Theses


Exploring the practicality of measuring mental models through log file analysis: An application in the health informatics domain

Klooster, I. ten (2018) Exploring the practicality of measuring mental models through log file analysis: An application in the health informatics domain.

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Abstract:Background: There is an increasing use of log file analysis within health informatics research. Log files give an objective view of users’ behaviour in software systems, and provides valuable insights in how healthcare information technology is used. Gaining insight into users’ behaviour may give indirect clues relevant to the objective of User-Centred Design (UCD), by obtaining a strong understanding of the intended user. Yet, to our knowledge, no studies investigating how log file analyses can be used in practice within this Agile process have been carried out. Therefore, the following question was raised: ‘How may log file analyses contribute to increasing the match between the healthcare system and its users within the Agile development method according to Agile team members?’. Method: The study consisted of an (1) observational phase, in which log files were analysed by summarizing sequential patterns, heatmapping and clustering. In the (2) qualitative phase, these results were discussed in a semi-structured interview with developers to explore for which practical purposes these results may be used. Results: In the observational phase of this study, it appeared that summarizing sequentisl patterns provides insight into prominent order that occurs within the user sessions, and heatmapping provides insight into the transitions between lesser-visited pages within the system. Moreover, clustering users’ behaviour provides an insight in the variation that exists within user sessions. In the qualitative phase of this study, log file analyses have proved to be useful for stating hypotheses, comparing paths, benchmarking and prioritizing within the Agile development process. Discussion: The multiple practical applications supports the suggestion that log files analyses is useful for increasing the focus on the user within an Agile process. Future research is needed for determining the level of detail in which users’ behaviour should be analysed.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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