Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2012

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Department

Art and Design

First Advisor

Roger Baer

Abstract

With technological innovation and emergence of the World Wide Web, digital forms of information surround us today more than ever. It is common for us to access information online with computational devices, rather than in paper and other analog media. Today information is fluid, always up-to-date without interruption. We can find most information with computational devices online. It is convenient for users from some perspectives; they can access information anytime, anywhere with an Internet connection.

In some instances, access to necessary information is accompanied by problems. Usability of the electronic site is one of the problems; some users are fluent in new technologies and how to use them, whereas others are not. The economist, Aleph Molinari, mentioned during the 2011 TED conference that the information gap between those who have access to information technologies and those who do not is called digital divide (Molinari, February, 2012). He stated that only 30% of the world was digitally included. Most of the region with digital inclusion was in North America and Europe. In the rest of the world, five billion people never had access to Internet (Molinari, 2011). People without access to information through technology include senior citizens, the poor, developing nations, etc. They tend not to have an access to information due to the lack of the devices and the lack of knowledge of the technology. According to Molinari, the reason they do not have access to the Internet is because they cannot afford it, they do not know how to use the technology, or they do not know the benefit of using technology to find information (2011). These groups of people often needs special support; however, the digital divide could prevent people in need from receiving care and aids. Most applications for care and aid are now found online or through computational devices in the devices in the United States today. Not only the availability of devices but also the presentation of digital forms causes accessibility problems to available resources. Resources are not limited to information as knowledge; they include beneficial resources such as monetary funds and human resources to improve quality of life.

Ideally, any forms should be available in both digital and analog forms, so users can choose the media they want to use. However, there is the dilemma of cost and time. In the United States today, digital forms are the predominant method for users to complete applications for information and services. This study is aimed at the analysis of the usability problem in digital forms and to find a solution from a designer's perspective.

Copyright Owner

Mikako Matsunaga

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

144 pages

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