Abstract

Initial usability testing was used to identify and fix usability concerns within a recently developed absorptive capacity assessment tool. The tool was designed to aid innovation management decision making by helping firms understand their processing of external knowledge within the context of a collaborative innovation network. Part of the recent development of the tool involved the implementation of Simos-Roy-Figueira’s revised method for eliciting subjective importance weights. However, the method, as it was applied within the tool, suffered from poor usability that could not be fully addressed. This paper presents a study on the usability of the tool further by conducting additional think-aloud studies to better understand its nature. Five common attributes of usability (efficiency, effectiveness, satisfaction, learnability, and usefulness) were characterized based on the findings from the think-aloud studies in order to develop a list of recommendations for improving usability. The goal of these recommendations is to help future academic developers of decision aid tools to better consider usability in their own work to maximize the impact and dissemination of their research.

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