Project the application traditions of figure 3.1 onto the following user contexts: individuals, enterprises, educational institutions, communities, society. What specific applications can you identity for each context from each of the traditions? What trends do you expect in the future?
As the application mix has changed historically, what is the changing effect on society? In particular, can you identity any technological development that has had an especially remarkable effect?
Do you think that ways of remotely interacting in groups making use of information technology can ever completely match the perceptual experience of a face-to-face interaction? To the extent that it is less satisfactory today, what aspects of this will disappear with technology advances (see section 2.3), and what limitations may be more fundamental? What are some opportunities to make a computer-mediated conference superior to a face-to-face meeting?
To what extent does lack of appreciation or understanding of information technology inhibit innovative new uses? How much understanding is really necessary to conceptualize uses?
What factors can explain whatever variance may exist across regions and countries in the use of information technology? Is a strong supply industry correlated with more innovation in usage, and if so which is cause and which is effect?
What types of insights might psychology, sociology, and anthropology have that could contribute to the more effective use of information technology?
To what extent are organizational design and the design of supporting information systems intertwined, or can they be separated?
Compare the effect on society, organizations, and individuals of IT and earlier technological revolutions, like mass transportation and electrification.
Have any important elements of the user value proposition been missed in this chapter? If so, what?
Continuing the last question, rank the relative importance of the elements of value considered, and justify your ranking. Identify those elements that are more generally important versus those that are highly context-specific.
Consider specific instances you have encountered of software behavior that you considered anomalous. Do you think these were defects or a mismatch of intended features with your needs?
As technology advances continue to follow Moore's law, in the context of any specific type of application performance issues become less and less prominent. What are the results of this for the businesses of hardware supply and software supply? Contrast the two.
Choose a specific instance from your experience where you believe security features of software interfered with usability. Why did they interfere, and how did they improve security? Analyze how even tighter security might further harm usability.
Exactly what is privacy? This is the first question to address before the right combinations of policy, laws, and technology can provide more assured privacy. This is a difficult question because it is so context-dependent and because it attempts to set a boundary between legitimate and undesirable behavior. Also, there is a strong interaction of perceived privacy issues and culture, making privacy that much harder to define on a worldwide Web.
To what extent are legacy applications an obstacle to changes in business, such as new products or services, reorganization, or mergers and acquisitions? What application characteristics would enable change instead of blocking it?
To what extent do you believe that user satisfaction can or cannot be captured by objective specifications? Consider this issue for some specific applications.
Compare the relative importance of the elements of user value identified in this chapter. Which are overall more important, and which less important? Why?