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Public policy, technology and lived experience: Three case studies of technology in support of urban transport policies in London

Inglesant, P; (2007) Public policy, technology and lived experience: Three case studies of technology in support of urban transport policies in London. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

High-quality public services can support policy outcomes in many areas of government this thesis focuses on public policy in transport. An essential factor, often overlooked, is the usability of public services. Usability is crucial to e-government, both because quality of service is a public value, and because poor public perception of services may weaken policy acceptance. However, usability, as developed in the Human-Computer Interaction research tradition, has not been prominent in the theory or practice of public policy. This is a critical shortcoming, since policy decisions inscribed in e-government systems have implications for the lived experience of transport users. Actualising this critique, the history of the HCI concept of usability is traced, and related to research traditions which deepen understanding of the inter-relations between technology and the social. This leads to a view that usability is meaningless outside the lived experiences of system users. This goes beyond the "user experience" with technology, because people live with technology as it becomes increasingly intertwined with everyday situations. This thesis makes its contributions from three case studies in urban transport. Semi- structured, recorded interviews and focus groups with 126 transport users were held alongside over 100 public policy documents and interviews with 25 key post- holders, and laboratory and situated observations. The insights of phenomenology, dialogism and pragmatic philosophy provide a route to understanding experiences with technology. A qualitative analysis based on Grounded Theory and Discourse Analysis is developed and used to illuminate these lived experiences. The embodied-ness of inter-actions with technology is investigated from an ecological perspective of affordances and genres. As service users freely mix electronic and non-electronic artefacts to meet real-life needs, the contingency of their actions calls into question a simple model of cognitive or institutional schemata this has profound implications for electronic systems in support of public policy aims.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Public policy, technology and lived experience: Three case studies of technology in support of urban transport policies in London
Identifier: PQ ETD:592923
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1445599
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