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"User Requirements of Mobile Technology: A Summary of Research Results"

Judith Gebauer


First Author :

Judith Gebauer
Business Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business
1206 S. Sixth Street
350 Wohlers Hall, MC 706
Champaign, IL 61820

217-244-7969 (Fax)

Abstract :
As advanced mobile technology becomes more widespread, the impacts on professional environments and on the personal lives of individual users continue to increase. Devices, such as smart cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and laptop computers can free their owners of the need to remain close to a wired information system infrastructure that is provided in a stationary office environment, and provide the opportunity to perform tasks in a wide variety of use contexts. With changes in use context, however, come changes in requirements, such as the need to limit weight and size of a device. In order to achieve success in the form of adoption, use, and positive impacts on user performance, a thorough understanding is needed about the functional and non-functional technology requirements of mobile professionals. In this paper, we summarize the results of a series of research studies that we conducted to explore the technology requirements of mobile professionals. The research studies included a content analysis of online user reviews, two empirical surveys, and a series of user interviews. Our research findings indicate that (1) user-perceived technology maturity is a critical factor to explain and predict the use of mobile technology by mobile professionals; (2) mobile technology needs to be available in a broad variety of use-situations; (3) users require basic communication and productivity-related functionality, in particular to support non-routine and supervisory task profiles; and (4) mobile technology can have considerable impacts on the job performance and on the personal lives of its users. Our findings have implications for the design, management, and research of mobile information systems.
Manuscript Received : 2008
Manuscript Published : March 8, 2008
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